Three Colors in One

The rich, shining green, blue, and brown colors on the horse’s saddle blanket and harness represent a 1,500-year-old innovation in Chinese pottery;  the sancai (san-KY) glazes, from the Chinese for “three colors.”

Chinese potters working during the Tang Dynasty period discovered that finely-ground minerals could be added to clear glass-like overpaints.  They brushed this mixture to the surface of finished clay pieces, and then fired them in the pottery kiln. The high temperatures melted the overpaints, released the deep mineral colors, and created a distinctive drip-effect on the surface of the figure.