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Hidden Cultural Gem
Snake Kiln Ceramics Cultural Park
by Annie Liou
master potter Lin Chiang-sung arrived in the small
town of Shui-li in Nantou. He found this area to
be a good place to practice his art, as there was
plenty of quality clay and timber for heating the
kilns. He built a workshop and named it 'Snake Kiln'
for the meandering hillsides that lay all around.
Snake Kiln is run by third-generation artisan Lin
Kuo-jung, who hopes that ceramic items are not just
thought of as ordinary, everyday objects (bowls and
plates, for example). He has also changed the image
of Snake Kiln from a ceramics workshop to a cultural
park. The park includes pottery classrooms, a gallery,
museum and 9-21 earthquake memorial. In addition to
learning about the history of ceramics and appreciating
the ceramic objects, visitors can work with pottery
clay to make their own artistic creations.
Until the end of June, Snake Kiln is holding a special
wood-burning kiln exhibition. Wood-burning kilns are
one type of traditional kiln that use no glaze. Instead,
ashes from the burning wood are allowed to settle
on the ceramic objects to create a finish that is
naturally and uniquely beautiful.
producing such objects is no mean feat. They must
be fired in the kiln for three days and nights. The
fire must be maintained without interruption while
the heat is alternated between low, medium and high.
Finally, an experienced potter, using only sight,
judges whether the firing is finished. All of the
items in the special exhibit were produced by the
Inside the gallery are works from various artisans
and collectors, allowing visitors to experience a
number of artistic styles. In the museum are displays
from the two world wars, items used by the Japanese
military and ceramic objects from Taiwan dating back
to the '50s and beyond.
Kiln is located in the heart of scenic Nantou county, about
a 90-minute drive from Taichung City. As a backdrop to all
of the beautifully crafted ceramics, the area is surrounded
by green hills, making a visit to Snake Kiln a truly great
Shui-li Snake Kiln Ceramics Cultural Park is located at
41, Ting Kan Lane, Ting Kan Tsun (village), Shuili Hsiang
(Township), Nantou County.