Just as it’s nickname as the “Palace Museum of Yingge” signifies, Tai-Hwa Pottery is a treasure trove of exceptionally unique and beautifully crafted ceramics. Upon entering, hoards of ceramic works for daily use and decorative functions, including exquisite tea sets, sculpted water fountains and gargantuan vases, are on display for sale. The styles range from traditionally painted motifs from China to incorporation of abstract and modern forms from the West. Tai-Hwa serves as an “official kiln” because this is where the President’s office frequently makes purchases for diplomatic gifts. Indeed, the ceramics here live up to the seal of “Taihwa” (Taiwan’s brilliance).
Founder Lu Chao-hsin believed firmly in innovation and set his company’s focus to the development of glazes and firing techniques that would maintain brighter and truer hues. He also invited artisans outside of the ceramics industry, such as architects, calligraphers, graphic designers, and painters, to his factory to design unique works of pottery.
Another one of Tai-Hwa’s deviation from traditional pottery workshops is that they allow visitors to scrutinize every step of the manufacturing process.
Everything is visible; the spinning wheels, the modern kilns, and lastly, the studio where pieces being traditionally decorated can be viewed at every stage: the draft on paper, the penciling on the three-dimensional objects, the application of colors and gold.
Taking one step further, there is a studio where a handful of famous artists themselves are painting on ceramics with Tai-Hwa’s unique ‘watercolor glazes.’ The studio is lighted naturally by windows that provides a broad view of the beautiful natural landscape and is furnished with all the materials that the artists need. Tai-Hwa grants the artist a space to get inspire and play freely.
After touring through the factory, one can take a tea/coffee break at the “Tai-Hwa Art Center” and peruse the gallery of painted porcelain and sculptures. Visitors need to take of their shoes before entering. A cup of tea or coffee is served in an original cup painted by the artists who have worked in the studio.
Tai-Hwa allows the visitor to engage fully with refine and aesthetic ceramic works from the factory, to the studio, and lastly to the gallery.
Tai-Hwa Pottery Co., Ltd.
No. 426-434, Jhongjheng 1st Road, Yingge District,
New Taipei City 239, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 08:00-18:00, Sunday 09:00-18:00
For more information: Hwang, Jim. “Breaking the Rules.” Taiwan Review. 01 Oct 2010.