Porcelain Production

Packing the Porcelain; c. 1825; Guangzhou; China; Gouache on paper; Peabody Essex Museum; Photo: Jeffrey R. Dykes
MIT © 2009 Visualizing Cultures

For porcelain production, the city of Jingdezhen played a decisive role. This was due to the special clay (kaolin) found in the surrounding mountains. A Jesuit who visited Jingdezhen in the early 18th century learned the technique of porcelain production and documented in great detail the proto-industrial production process, i.e., a process organized according to the division of labor. Western industrialists such as Josiah Wedgood were inspired by the reports of François Xavier d’Entrecolles.