Skip to Page Content

Feb 21, 2009

Next Meeting Saturday, 7 March, 2009 at 6 PM

Stoneware jar from the Sankampaeng kilns of Northern Thailand, 14th-mid-16th centuries.

The next meeting of the Washington Oriental Ceramic Group will take place on Saturday, 7 March, 2009, at 6 pm, at the home of Dan and Margaret Sullivan, 5903 Mount Eagle Drive #1604, Alexandria, VA 22303. David Rehfuss will discuss the Southeast Asian ceramics and the Maritime Silk Road. This session will be a potluck. When you RSVP to David or Hedy please let us know what dish or drinks you will bring, or 703 503-3195. Directions to the Sullivans’ home are at the end of this announcement.

Synopsis of the 7 February, 2009 Session

Vietnam’s cultural and artistic traditions date back 7000 years and include early bronze drums, pottery and fine high-fired glazed ceramics from the 11th century CE. After independence from Chinese colonial rule in 939 CE the northern Vietnamese potter developed ceramics embodying distinctive national character. The classic stonewares of the Ly and Tran dynasties (1009-1400 CE) were rediscovered in the first decade of the 20th century when railroad construction uncovered graves in Thanh Hoa Province, SE of Hanoi. The monochrome stonewares of this period are often minimalist in design having an almost modern feeling. Several thousand examples of Ly and Tran wares are in Belgium museums, having entered the collections during the French colonial period before World War II.

Chinese styles and technology gained influence when Vietnamese wares began to compete internationally with Chinese export ceramics starting in the 13th-14th centuries. Vietnamese blue and white stonewares were highly competitive, particularly in insular Southeast Asia. Northern Vietnamese ceramics of this period, like Chinese, can show Islamic influences, for example, their large serving dishes.

The fine blue and white porcelains of the 18th and 19th centuries known as “bleu de Hue” were made in southeast Chinese kilns for export to the high-end Vietnamese market. Their elegant decorations came from Vietnamese artists and were copied by Chinese potters.

Events of Note

On Saturday, 7 March there will be a series of events at the Freer and Sackler Galleries celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowruz. For details go to

Potter Ani Kasten, who spoke last December to the WOCG about her work with potters in Nepal, is showing her elegant ceramics at several venues this spring. Details at

Directions to the Sullivans’ home 5903 Mount Eagle Drive #1604, Alexandria VA 22303:

  1. From the Beltway (495) exit onto US-1S/Richmond Highway toward Ft Belvoir
  2. After passing the Telegraph Road stop light get into the right lane
  3. Turn right into the Mount Eagle Apartments, arrive at the Guest Entrance. Tell the guard that you’re going to the Sullivan’s apartment, phone # (703) 960-6815

Back to Top