The people of Chenlu, in Shanxi province, were a major source of porcelain for northern China since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Today, however, Chenlu’s porcelain industry is a shadow of its former self, as former porcelain makers move on to other more lucrative, easier jobs. But 71-year-old Li Shengke and his daughter Li Zhuling are working hard to preserve the city’s traditional porcelain making processes, using porcelain kilns and the techniques from the Yaozhou Kiln school, which dates from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1279).
The following photos, taken on July 18, 2009, show how Li Shengke and his employees made porcelain by hand, the same way four generations of their ancestors did.
Porcelain kilns cover most of Chenlu city. Porcelain vessels sometimes are used to build walls.