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Chinese Celadon - History and Features

Note: This is our second post on celadon. To see the previous one click here. Ceramic Reminiscent of Jade Like many other types of fine ceramicware, celadon originated in China, where it was prized for its jade-like appearance. Jade has been prized since the Stone Age in what is now China. The nephrite jade native to China was both beautiful and durable, however, it is evident that over time early Chinese cultures imbued the stone with spiritual properties too, further enhancing its value. Archaeologists have uncovered numerous grave goods made of jade from neolithic and ancient times. Several Han dynasty burials contained worked pieces of jade that were used to cover or plug the orifices of the deceased. Taking this...

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The World is our Souk: Grand Bazaar Istanbul Turkey

The Mother of all Markets. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. And “Large” is an understatement. The market covers a huge area of the city, with over 60 streets and 4,000 shops! Within the market are several squares, about 5 mosques, various entrances, and exits. It is one of the easiest to get lost in as well. You can wander and never pass the same shop again. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were still folks lost in the market who have never emerged again! Silly joke yes, but really it’s a massive place. As Mark Twain wrote: “We went to the Grand Bazaar in Stamboul, of course, and I...

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What is Celadon?

Defining Celadon The term "celadon" is often used to describe a light green color, but it also denotes a class of ceramic ware characterized by its translucent glaze and soft hues of green and blue. There are varying theories for the etymology of the word "celadon" in European languages, but in most of the Far East it is known as 青瓷, which can be translated as "green porcelain."    General Characteristics of Celadon Technically, what defines a ceramic item as celadon is the glaze used. Traditionally celadon glazes have been applied mostly to porcelain and stoneware. This is still the case today, however, lesser ceramics can also be used. The key to the glaze is its iron content and how this...

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The World is our Souk: Mutrah Souk, Muscat Oman

There is something about Oman. It’s really hard to place a finger on it, but when you think of Arabia, it is probably Oman you imagine even if you never visited it. Now imagine you are in old Arabia, wandering through the ancient souks marveling at the frankincense and spices, and if you may be imagining a place very similar to that of Mutrah Souk. No matter how many years have passed it seems the souk remains quite the same.Wandering through the alleyways it seems the place goes on in all directions. Touts pushing scarves and scents from across the region and the world, and locals cloaked in white thaubs and black abayas share the paths with foreigners gawking and...

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What makes Bamboo Green?

Well if you remember anything from high school biology, it’s the chlorophyll which is the key to converting the sunlight into chemical energy. Okay, but what makes it “green” as in environmentally friendly? To answer this you have you compare the woody material from bamboo with other comparable hard materials, like plastics or tree wood. In general, bamboo grows quickly, "like a weed" you could say, and bamboo canes can be harvested after several years. A pine tree typically needs a dozen or so years to grow and mature before it can be harvested, whereas hardwood trees, like oak trees, typically need dozens of years. Moreover, harvesting a cane of bamboo does not normally entail the death of the plant,...

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