The Decline of Jingdezhen as the “City of Porcelain”


While Jingdezhen has been renowned as the “City of Porcelain” since the Song Dynasty, its status has rapidly declined in recent decades. Kaolinite was one of the most precious natural resource in Jingdezhen that could provide the glossy appearance for porcelain products, and it has been the key for high quality porcelain production in the city. However, due to over production, Jingdezhen has already run out of Kaolinite during the Qing Dynasty. As for the remaining porcelain clay in Jingdezhen, it was also at the brink of exhaustion due to over extraction during the 80s, and the annual extraction amount has been reduced to less than one-third in 2007. Currently, most of the ceramic products in Jingdezhen is not made of local clay but imported instead.

Meanwhile from 2003 to 2004, the China Ceramics Industrial Association (CCIA) has granted the “City of Porcelain” or similar titles to Tangshan, Guangdong Chaozhou, Henan Yuzhou, Zhejiang Longquan, Fujian Dehua and Sichuan Jiajiang. Jingdezhen was no longer the unique city of pottery industry and this further weakened its reputation.


羅 健. “景德鎮高嶺土資源枯竭拯救無土瓷都.” 鳳凰網. April 30, 2009.

1 Comment on “The Decline of Jingdezhen as the “City of Porcelain”

  1. A nice series historical documents and bibliographic sources, which are thought-provoking. Please make sure that you complete your narrative posts, that would elucidate your position and synthesize these materials. This is the opportunity to add to the discourse around the changes to the city. In addition, I do wonder about your thoughts on the branding of Jingdezhen as a ceramic center, when it is known that the kaolin clay is already on the verge of depletion. Should it still hold on to production, and this branding of the city?

    PS please remember to caption and cite your images in the posts.

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