Chinese Antique Glossary – O


When a ceramic object is fired, the atmosphere in the kiln is crucial to final appearance of the piece. The term ‘oxidation’ indicates that the object has been fired in a kiln with an ‘oxidizing’ atmosphere – that is one into which oxygen has been allowed to enter. Under these conditions oxygen may combine with the constituents of the glaze and/or body material of the piece. The most obvious effect is upon iron oxide, which may be converted from ferrous oxide (4FeO) to ferric oxide (2Fe2O3) taking on a warm, brownish, tone.

Oni (Japan)

Lecherous horned devils of ferocious mien and low intelligence. Their folklore derives originally from China.