The Foreign Land
This 10 illustrations story is an adventure to Jingdezhen, an ancient porcelain city in China.
The Foreign Land
Here Tom sits before the road to a foreign land! He will have to cross many mountains, some of the mountains are so high he cannot see the peak. Will Tom continue even through the clouds to see the world on top of the peak?
Soaring on a Cloud
After so much encouragement for Tom to travel to a foreign land, a cloud fell from the heavens to fly him over the enormous mountain peaks! Once elevated his view expanded to see a great sea and beyond! This dreamy cloud will carry him over the sea and deep into the unknown land ahead. Tom is off to China.
The Blue and White City
Tom has soared over the great sea and deep into the unknown land. Here, the cloud carried him to the front gate of The Blue and White City. At the entrance towers two monuments. The first is the forming of clay the second is the special blue and white decorating technique (Qinghua). These monuments honor the master artisans that unite their skills to form magnificent objects.
Lessons From a Master
Tom sits at the foot of a great master. He watches his precision and undistracted flowing movements. Here he learns personal instruction from his teacher about ancient techniques and the changes that have taken place throughout time.
As Tom's exploring the city he crosses through a park one evening. He has come on the great day of the Autumn Festival where the community celebrates. There is dancing, gift giving, and beautiful music. Tom settles down next to a stranger and although they cannot speak to each other they light a lantern together, make a wish, and send it off into the world. Here Tom begins to see that the others are not very different from himself.
Exploring the countryside Tom finds shards of ancient pottery that have washed up up on the bank. Tales shared for 100's of years are told on fragments of the aged porcelain. Artifacts from different periods share the qualities valued most. Often purity and minimalism where loved in the region.
During Tom’s Adventure he stumbles upon the Sacred Bowl. This vessel has been lost for hundreds of years but through his open eyes, he has discovered a treasure. Tom rejoices!
Tom's journey across the countryside led him to an enchanted Mountain. The material found in the mountain's core was known to be the material that made the ancient artifacts. This substance was similar to gems, but unlike gems, it could be formed into objects. Tom's desire to climb and see the world from on top of the peak has led him to discover the Ambient vase. From this view, there is nothing but clouds below and heaven above. This artifact is said to emit an aura and represents the coming together of Earth and Heaven
The Celestial Temple
Tom approaches the site of The Celestial Temple. He is aware of the guardians of the temple though he continues through the threshold. Ancient Wall art, relics, and tiles show the origin of the legends that flourish in this land. Here Tom discovers a vase and draped upon it is a garment worn by one of the celestials!
The Evening Departure
Tom falls back into the cloud that brought him to this ancient world. The daily bustle continues throughout the evening as the city is powered by new artifacts. Here the Sacred Bowl, Ambient Vase, and Robed Vase are loaded on Tom's Cloud to remind him of the community he fell in love with, the material that is precious in this land, and the ancient history. The column supports a flame, a symbol of transformation, marking the back gate. Tom is a commonality. He represents us. The Adventures we go on are processes that transform us. When we enter into new places we face new situations, meet new people, some gatekeepers, some friends, some teachers. In the end, we take what we have learned, apply it to the world we come back to, and share stories with the people close to us.