One of Jingdezhen's most famous exports is a category of porcelain known as Qinghua, or Blue and White. When most people think of Chinese pottery, they think of Qinghua. We attended a lesson on how to draw with the famous blue pigment (see below) before seeing lots and LOTS of examples everywhere else we went in the city.
The beautiful blue and white is everywhere, although my favorite was the giant Qinghua vases. And when I say giant, I'm not exaggerating.
One of the other tour participants who's on the short side was gracious enough to stand next to them for a picture to emphasize their crazy size, but they'd easily dwarf anyone. These are the sort of pieces that only large corporations and hotels buy. In fact, if you've ever been in a hotel lobby anywhere in the world with one of these giant Qinghua vases, it's probably from Jingdezhen.
We toured lots of factories to see the pots being made. It was great to see every step of the process, and also made it obvious that the word "factory" here is not how we normally use it back home. This was more like a collection of artisans who were all exceedingly talented at doing just one stage of the process. There are lots of pottery-making professionals here, but few who control every step of the process like a pottery artist in the US.
And, in the perfect way to round off the weekend, we even saw a bit of nature outside the city. You can see some misty mountains in the background of this picture. It was China to perfection.
Lastly, I'd like to highly recommend a recent episode of the fantastic radio program This American Life. They did a show about Americans living in China, and it's spot-on. But no, I've never been on Chinese TV.