Open Access Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Open access publications by faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students in the Center for Historic Architecture and Design.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Item
    The Disappearing Technology and Products of Traditional Tibetan Village Blacksmiths
    (Heritage, 2024-02-12) Reedy, Chandra L.
    Tibetans have a long history of iron mining, smelting, and forging. For centuries, craftsmen in major cities and large iron production centers made high-quality swords and suits of armor, as well as decorative iron ritual objects for monasteries and the elites, but blacksmithing workshops in small villages have always produced and repaired everyday objects for agricultural and home use. Modern political changes, along with greater availability of industrial objects in local markets, have greatly reduced the rank of the village blacksmith. Ethnographic fieldwork reported here from two Tibetan Bön villages in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, China (once part of traditional Amdo area of Tibet), highlights some of the threats to the continued existence of village blacksmiths. Both a part-time blacksmith in one village and a full-time blacksmith in another make only a marginal living from their work. Their descendants are unlikely to continue the business. Many of the village blacksmiths in the area have already stopped production and closed their workshops. It is likely that the village blacksmith tradition might soon disappear altogether in this region of the world without support. Preservation of this tradition could benefit both cultural and environmental sustainability goals.
  • Item
    Research into Coal-Clay Composite Ceramics of Sichuan Province, China
    (Materials Research Society, 2017-04-09) Reedy, Chandra L.; Vandiver, Pamela B.; He, Ting; Xu, Ying; Wang, Yanyu; Chandra L. Reedy , Pamela B. Vandiver , Ting He , Ying Xu, and Yanyu Wang; Reedy, Chandra L.; Xu, Ying
    A group of traditional pottery workshops in Sichuan Province, China, produce a unique coal-clay composite ceramic that is fired using a similarly unique kiln design and two-stage firing procedure not seen in any other ceramic tradition. Here we report on field and laboratory efforts to better understand this unusual ceramic material and technology, the functional advantages as cookware, braziers, and large storage vessels that include high strength and high thermal shock resistance, and the cultural context that supported the creativity and experimentation needed to develop such an innovative technology.
  • Item
    Talc-Rich Black Tibetan Pottery of Derge County, Sichuan Province, China
    (Materials Research Society, 2017-04-09) Reedy, Chandra L.; Vandiver, Pamela B.; He, Ting; Xu, Ying; Chandra L. Reedy, Pamela B. Vandiver, Ting He, and Ying Xu; Reedy, Chandra L.
    Unusual raw materials are used to produce Tibetan black pottery in Puma township of Derge County, Sichuan Province, China. Carbonaceous, calcareous pyrite-rich illitic lakebed clay is mixed in equal proportions with a ferruginous talc-chlorite steatite. A two-stage firing process results in a dark, lustrous surface. The large amount of talc imparts many useful functional qualities to this pottery; most significant are the low thermal expansion and good thermal conduction properties of talc that make these ceramics highly suitable for heating and cooking in this high mountain region. Although used in some modern ceramics, and even in modern stoves, talc is an unusual ingredient in non-industrialized ceramics. Procurement and preparation of this resource adds to the production time but its properties and performance make talc an excellent choice for the well-being and comfort of local Tibetan households.
Copyright: Please look at individual material in order to see what the copyright and licensing terms are. Some material may be available for reuse under a Creative Commons license; other material may be the copyright of the individual author(s) or the publisher of the journal. Copyright lines may not be present in Accepted Manuscript versions so please refer to individual journal policies and/or look up the journal policies in Sherpa Romeo.