Steven Lin (Lin Tsung-Yi) - Taipei-Hsien, Taiwan

Lin Tsung-Yi (who says that you can call him Steven if you like) is represented by the Taipei Country Yingge Ceramics Culture Association,

He studied ceramics at Fu-Hsin School in Taipei, Taiwan, and holds a degree from the studio art program at Capilano College in North Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada).

His recent works include public commissions for the Taipei County Ying-Ko Ceramic Museum (2000) and the Kauhsiung River Park (2002).

Text of Lin Tsung-Yi's Slide Lecture, July 12, 2003

My name is Steven Lin and I live in Taipei-Hsien, Taiwan.

I would like to tell you about the contemporary culture of ceramics in Taiwan.

During the 1970's, artists in Taiwan began to make decorative porcelain. These products are mainly exported to other countries like the United States, Japan, and Europe. In the 1980's the porcelain industry developed quickly and now there are 400 porcelain factories in Ying-ko Town, Taiwan.

People in Taiwan considered porcelain clay to be like gold, and thought that porcelain making would bring them great wealth. Foreigners like decorative works with traditional Chinese designs, such as the cranes, monks and flowers. These are symbols of longevity, good luck and fortune.

All of the vases in the following slides are made with multiple firings. The surfaces have been painted with great detail.

These are some examples of works made in my family's porcelain studio.

1) A Chinese Crane - fired with reduction to cone 9. The vase is made from 3 joined sections of hand thrown forms.

2) Chinese porcelain chair - This is slip cast from a plaster mold. Cobalt slip is used to render the outlines and clear glaze finished the surface.

3) Flower vase - Blue glaze is applied first, and the first reduction firing is to cone 9. Gold and colors are used to render the flowers.

4) Crane on a big plate - created using the same methods of the flower vase.

5) Dragon Vase with Japanese Monks, made using the same methods.

6) Vase with 500 Chinese Monks - made with seven thrown sections joined by coiling.

7) This is the kiln that was used to fire the large vase.

As a working ceramist, I obtain my motivation and inspiration from daily life. The theme of my work is drawn from everyday objects, such as sea rocks, crabs and pigs. I approach these themes with different ways of clay technique.

8) Two Crabs on a Plate - fired to cone 9. In Mandarin, "crab" is "xič". Two crabs -- or "xič xič" -- means "Thank you".

9) "Sea Landscape" - There are 61 crabs on the surface of sea rocks. You could say it means "Many thanks!"

Handbuilding allows me to express form in a free manner. There are lots of possibilities for expressing imagination with clay. I work as a professional potter everyday, which gives me the greatest possibility to use all of my abilities.

10) These are commissions that I made for the Ying-geo Ceramic Museum in Taipei-Hsien. They are 7 feet tall.

11) This is "The Sun," made by coiling and in four sections.

12) This is "The Moon," for which I used a wooden mold for building clean rectangular shapes.

13) This is "Star." The most difficult part of the fabrication was how to calculate the angle of the triangular shapes.

My most recent works employ throwing as the main technique, after which I carve and build on the clay. I hope that the fun that I have in working with clay is evident to you.

14) This is a lamp made with joined slabs.

15) Two tea bowls with Shino glaze.

16 - 17) A lamp with a wheel thrown body and drilled holes.

18) Two vases, finished with ash glaze with lines carved on the surface.

19) Flower vase with celadon glaze and carved lines.

20) And a second flower vase made with the same methods.

Steven Lin's Technical Notes - The Fantasy Land

I want to pursue the work of my wonderland to express on ceramic tiles for the column. The whole work is about the fantasy land I imagine for myself, I always enjoy to spend time on the beach, where I can relax myself from work and stress. I love to watch the moment when the sun is setting into the other side of the ocean. It makes me feel infinite, there are no boundaries of limitations, which makes me feel free and at peace.

I enjoy the technique of line carving which allows me to render the forms I wish. For example the dynamic of the ocean. I want to express several types of line quality combined in a single work.

As I was reassembling the work of the drawing, everything came together in a way I enjoyed, and I love it.

It has been a great opportunity to come here and work with people who are from other countries, that is wonderful..

Technical Notes

  1. 1 cm thickness of the slabs.
  2. Adding clay to the surface where needed to be thicker.
  3. Carving out the recesses
  4. Waiting until the clay is stiff, starting to work on the detail with carving technique
  5. Use of sponge or finger to remove extra drop-off clay
  6. Spray on color slips with Rda 24, 32 16 for the colors of this piece
  7. Use half Rda 29, plus half and half Rda 29 and 24, Rda 29 and 34, 29 and 32, 29 and 7, 29 and 16 to make leaves and waves. The choice of colors for the leaves and waves also include Rda 7 and 29 by themselves.
  8. Spray Rda 18, 19 for the sea rocks. Rdry 3 for the crabs.
  9. Use sponge with colors listed above and dab on leaves, waves and sea.

I don't like to overspray the slip too thick, it feels like "paint" to me. I always tend to lightly spray the color on my work so that the clay can show through.

Previous Back to Clay Color & Fire Next