art has had a deep impact on Chinese architecture for centuries.
The power and benevolence of Buddhist deities expressed in
architectural designs were not limited to temples and imperial
palaces. Roof tiles modeled in dragons and kirins are common
on large houses, they are placed on ridges and roof edges
as guardians and protectors of public buildings and private
homes. Its chief purpose is to produce an auspicious aura,
in which create a positive cosmic current that would generate
favorable Feng Shui.
lustrous rich colored roof tile is tentatively identified
as a product from the Qing era (1644-1911). It reflects a
lengthy Sancai technique in use since the Tang dynasty (618-907).
The key ingredient in this process is a lead flux that allows
the silica of the glaze recipe to melt and combine with other
minerals. The clay used is a high grade white earth; artisans
began by working with molds and hand sculpted finer details.
Each roof tile required two firings, a first bisque firing,
and a second firing after applying leaded glaze which mixed
with various minerals. Chinese archaeologists have discovered
many kilns established under the early Ming (1368-98). A glazed-tile
manufactory near Nanjing employed over 1,700 skilled artisans.
According to the Ministry Regulations published in the 14th
century, the firing capacity of each of these kilns was at
280 roof tiles at one time.