Saturday, May 15, 2010

Two Days in Yingge

Just a day or two before the kids and I left VA for Taiwan, Eric told me he had heard about some town here that is famous for pottery. Say no more, I got right on it. Within hours I knew exactly what town he was talking about, and I informed him we would be visiting that town more than once. So far, I've been there twice.

The name of the town is Yingge. It was our first excursion, the Saturday after we arrived. (And, as it turned out, the day before I hopped a flight for an emergency return to the States.) There is a famous ceramics museum in Yingge which any self-respecting tourist probably visits. However, if you read back a bit you'll see that I have a terrible aversion to museums, so I cannot tell you anything about the ceramics museum. I am sure it is wonderful but I am interested in the here and now, not the there and then. So we barrelled straight into the heart of Historic Ceramic Street. Here are a couple of street shots:

It is really lovely, despite the fact that the sun never shines. (I am probably exaggerating about the sun, but honestly I have yet to see it shine in Taiwan.) The streets are fairly wide and cobblestone. My sense is that somebody sensed the potential for tourist dollars so they prettied the place up. Maybe not. Maybe if I went to the museum I'd learn the true story. Or maybe I'd fall asleep before they got to that part. However it got this way, it is pretty. Picturesque even.

Here the kids are standing in front of the largest vase I've ever seen. I suppose it's not really a vase. If I'd gone to the museum I'd probably know what it is! I actually saw others this size in shops, for sale. Imagine trying to get that home! (On your scooter! But that's another post.)

There are several shops where you can make your own pottery. I thought that would be a cool thing for the kids to do. Anna was thrilled with the opportunity but Ethan was not the least bit interested. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I could have made something, but it didn't. Oh well. I took pictures.

Here is Anna with her instructor. The instructor spoke little to no English, but I am finding you can communicate quite a lot with gestures.

At some point the instructor needed to make some things understood, so she corralled an English speaking bystander. She sat through the rest of the time and interpreted! (You can kind of see her to the bottom left. I should have taken a better picture, but I was in a daze still.)

After Anna was finished "throwing" her bowl, they brought her to a table where she could add embellishments.

Afterward Anna got to choose from a menu of colors. She didn't actually paint the piece, we left it for 2 weeks to be fired, painted, glazed, whatever all they do. Here is Anna's finished bowl. Pretty great, I think!

To be continued...


KC said...

Wow...that is very pretty! I love your references to "I guess I would know if I visited the museums" lol. They really are quite over-rated. We are taking the kids to DC over the summer....lots of museums. I think we'll do just the most exciting ones.

bristowmom said...

Oh, KC - you're going to be in DC, which is practically my backyard, and I'm not there! Actually, stay tuned, I MIGHT be there sooner than expected. I would LOVE the chance to meet you in person. I'll have to send you an e-mail.