I received this postcard from China! I featured a couple of cards from this informative series sent by a different sender – this one features the blue and white pottery of China! This type of pottery is thought to have originated over a millennium ago; it became popular in the 14th century as its mass production began in Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi province (southeastern China). It is a product of Chinese white porcelain combined with a blue pigment imported from the Middle East known as cobalt blue. Cobalt blue consists primarily of the compound cobalt oxide… and that’s probably the extent of which I can explain cobalt oxide. I got a C in chemistry in high school so, yeah. Let’s just say that it is a VERY valuable material. At a time like the 14th century, you don’t just go to the nearest convenience store to buy cobalt blue. Anyway, I watched a cool video on how this kind of pottery is made, and it is so underrated in the painstaking effort needed to perfect it. It starts off with the initial forming of the wares using clay – a process that is way more difficult than meets the eye. Seeing as all wares need to be uniform, the potter needs to exercise incredible judgment. The dried wares are then brought to the precision molding workshop, where they use sharp edges to refine them. Any mistake here could render the potter’s works fruitless… so the pressure is on! Then the decorations are applied by hand, as mentioned on this card. Though this might seem like a fairly easier task, the painter has to pay heed to their technique as the decoration comes out differently once it’s been heated. Finally, into the kiln goes the completed wares. Fun fact about cobalt blue: it is one of very few pigments that can withstand the heat that’s applied to such pottery, which is another reason it’s a highly useful commodity. Once the wares are out of the kiln – boom, blue and white pottery. It’s easy to think that pottery like this just “appears” without knowing the process behind it… now that I’m enlightened, I can only sit here in awe! Thank you bunches for sending me this lovely postcard and for all your kindness, Momo!