Friday, September 28, 2007
Damn right, I got da blues!
Joe Molinaro of Eastern Kentucky U and I visited a factory full of little rooms, full of ladies working making decals. If it was a sweat shop it was Joe and I that were the only two sweating. It was steaming hot in there and the charcoal stove was lit in the middle of the room with the tea kettle going. The women have to produce 1000 decal sheets per day. You can buy 1000 sheets for $13. Rumour has it they sell for $13 US a sheet in Japan. Not a bad profit margin. I bought a handful at half a yuan a sheet or 6 cents a sheet. They are mostly blue but there was black, green and red. Jingdezhen loves it's blue and white. I thought the decals might be nice cut up and positioned on Sheila's boxes but then Sheila's favourite decoration is no decoration. The blue goo was spread on an engraved plate with the design on it, the goo is scraped off, a sheet put on top and then pressed thru a mini slab roller. The sheets are then spread behind the ladies to dry. These are high temperature stains so they make look very nice on a white porcelainous stoneware and wood fired.
We then went to a shop where 3 women were making little clay butterflies.
This was a nice studio with lots of light and very clean.
The two Chinese grad students were our angels. They took us where we would never have ventured or even be allowed to go. They also paid for our taxi cabs. Want to be a grad student in China- start by being bilingual!