Sunday, March 19, 2006

Children of Mao


After the Wall, we went to lunch at a factory that makes vases and "pottery" with some elaborate system using copper. We got a tour of the actual manufacturing process, which was very labor intensive. The product was mostly produced by hand. We watched the workers drawing intricate designs on the pottery, which went through a blast furnace 6 times before it went on the shelf.
This is a picture of Fred and Rob watching the process.

The workers ignored us, and it looked like pretty tedious work, but I was comforted by the fact that many of them were wearing small headphones. Also, according to the tour guide, they had complete artistic freedom on the colors and designs they would apply to the product. The job may have been more satisfying than it seemed.

Mostly, I was struck by what a throwback this factory seemed to be. The tour guide seemed to have stepped out of a 1950s Communist propaganda movie, a lot of rah rah stuff about the amazing process that produced these high quality vases and knick knacks. Mao would be pleased.

We then went to the Forbidden City, a spawling complex of halls and palaces. I've got some good pictures, but for some reason, I can't upload them right now. I hope I'll be able to do so if I get to the FH office tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

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