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The Legend of the Brothers' Kilns (The Ge Kiln and The Di Kiln)

The Ge Kiln was one of the Five Famous Kilns in the Song Dynasty, while the Di Kiln or the Longquan Kiln was one of the largest nongovernmental kilns in China.

Ge and Di in Chinese mean older and younger brothers. The Ge Kiln and the Di Kiln were established by two brothers in Longquan, Zhejiang Province in the Song Dynasty: Zhang Sheng'yi and Zhang Sheng'er.

When their father, a very skilled porcelain craftsman died, the two brothers built up their own kilns. However, the older was very diligent and used most of his time to study how to improve the quality of his porcelains, while the youger wasted his talent on entertainment and feast. Therefore Zhang Sheng'er had lost his market to his brother. He was jealous, sneaked and poured some water to the his brother's kiln one day. The glaze of the porcelains all cracked by the sudden cold. When Zhang Sheng'yi opened the kiln several days later, he was so suprised by this disaster but tried to fix the problem. He used a darker colored glaze to fill the crackles, then put them in the kiln again. After another month, a miracle happened: all the crackles became a special and astonishing decoration -- a new porcelain style was invented. Zhang Sheng'yi sent his porcelains to the market and immediately it became so famous and it brought him a big profit.

Zhang Sheng'er heard the news and thought his brother was successful because of his water, so he did the same thing to his own kiln. When he sent his products to the market, he was laughed by the customers and lost all his investment. Frustrated and upset, Zhang Sheng'er was sick in the bed. Zhang Shengyi heard that and bought many gift to see his brother. Zhang Sheng'er confessed himself to his brother. However, Zhang Shengyi didn't not blame him but tried to console his brother. Zhang Sheng'er was very touched and encouraged. He became as hard-working as his brother. Soon he created his own style and became famous too.

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