Sunday, June 1, 2014

Yingge (鶯歌) - Yingge Old Street (鶯歌老街) - New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum (新北市立鶯歌陶瓷博物館) [Taiwan Day 273: The Potter's Hand - May 31, 2014]


To complete my month-long birthday celebration I went to the pottery town of Yingge (鶯歌) [Filipino: ing-ga]. It is a district of New Taipei City and can be easily reached by taking the 'chu chu' train. I took the train from Nangang Station and the ride was approximately 45 minutes but if I took the train from Taipei Main Station the ride would be 26 minutes.
 
Yingge Station
There are two main attractions in Yingge District. The first one is the Ceramics Old Street and the other one is the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum. I arrived at Yingge train station at around 9:30am. I asked for an English map of the place and that helped me find my destinations. 










I followed the map until I reached the Old Street. It was 10:00am and most of the shops were still closed and I took the chance to take some photos with stacked pots in one shop. Seeing giant clay pots reminds me of the 1986 film 'Halimaw sa Banga'. Haha!


I took this photo from a footbridge and from this same spot I saw a park with large ceramic structures.












I went back to the Yingge Museum after having fun in the ceramics park.




I went to the Yingge Ceramics Museum after walking around in the Old Street. The musem was built to promote the ceramic culture of Taiwan and based on the handout that was given to me it is the only theme musuem in Taiwan about ceramics. I was impressed with the civil works of the musuem. The mixture of glass, concrete and steel makes the museum building the most important artwork in Yingge.


























































An audio guide was given me to helped me understand the collections inside the museum. It was my first time to use that kind of gadget. Of all the collections inside, I was intrigued by a white ceramic flute. If I remember correctly, there was one episode either in 'Shaider', 'Maskman' or 'Bioman' that a similar kind of white ceramic flute was used. I want to have one and bring it home to the Philippines.
 


I asked the staff in the musem on where I can experience making my own pot. The staff said that the museum doesn't offer that kind of service and they told me that I should go back to the Old Street where there are a lot of Do It Yourself shops.
 








I went back to the Old Street until I found a tunnel. I entered the tunnel and I was surprised to see that at the end were people sitting on small chairs molding their clay on the potter's wheel. I took some videos on how 'pottery' is done. Kids, teens and adults have tried making their own pots and my Taiwan Day 273 would not be complete if my hands won't get dirty.

I paid 250 NTD for the service. I took an apron and sat on one of the chairs then an old guy guided me on how to make my own 'pot'. I dipped my hand on a container with muddy water and then I hold my spinning clay on the potter's wheel. Never in my life that I imagined to experience the art of pottery! The old guy taught me how to transform the shape of the clay from one form to another. His hands were amazing and I called his hands as 'The Potter's Hand'.






I made some finishing touches on my bowl and after that I was told that I can get my bowl after three weeks. The bowl when I get will be part of my 'Taiwan collections'.


Thus, I have ended my month-long birthday celebration. Sand-sational! (Taiwan Day 245), Spirited Away (Taiwan Day 252 ), The Queen and I (Taiwan Day 259), Greener Pastures (Taiwan Day 267 ) and in Taiwan Day 273 I learned the skills of the 'The Potter's Hand'.

Long-live the birthday celebrators of the month of May! Yehey!
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