Yoseka Stationery

Yoseka Ceramics Ink Series - Ming Yellow

Produced in collaboration with Ink Institute and ceramic artist Li Yan Xun, our Yoseka Ceramics Ink Series showcases 8 unique colors inspired by ceramic glazes from the Yuan, Ming, Tang, Qing, and Song Dynasties, spanning 10 centuries of Chinese color and history. We worked closely with Li to select these 8 colors from his Yan Cai color project, in which he used chemical experimentation to revive the formulas of over 60 historical glazes, to represent the brilliant and splendid history of Chinese ceramics.

The golden yellow of this glaze emerges from iron when it is used as a coloring agent and fired in an oxidizing flame. The earliest iteration of this shade was seen in the Han Dynasty, and similar yellow-brown glaze tones were developed throughout the following Tang, Song, and Liao Dynasties. In Chinese, the word “yellow” is a homophone for the word “emperor” — therefore, this yellow glaze was reserved for imperial ceramics, symbolizing royalty, divinity, and wealth. Later, this yellow was also adopted onto the plates used for the emperor’s ancestral temple offerings, raising the prestige associated with this color. It became the most visible color on porcelain used in the Forbidden City during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the formula of this yellow glaze was refined and perfected.

Hongzhi-ware yellow-glazed bowl with green dragon motif (ca. Ming Dynasty [1368-1644])
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan


About Li Yanxun: Li Yan Xun is a ceramic artist and the founder of the Yanshan Art Museum  in Jingdezhen, China. Hailing from a family of ceramic artists, he received formal training at the renowned Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute before starting his own ceramics studio. In addition to inheriting the “watercolor glaze” techniques pioneered by his father, Li Xiaocong, Li Yan Xun spent almost a decade researching and cataloguing the glaze pigments used in Jingdezhen during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Experimenting with chemical methods like glaze reduction tests and pure reagent analyses, he revived more than 60 historic glazes and documented each formula. Through this color project, titled Yan Cai, Li pursues the notion that an artist can be involved in every phase of their art-making process, from the development of the medium, to the physical craftsmanship, to the firing and completion of the object.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews Write a review