The Song Imperial stoves were located in two main locations: the former capital of Bianjing (today's Kaifeng) during the Northern Song Dynasty, and later in Hangzhou City in the Southern Song Dynasty, after the regime moved south. The Northern Song Imperial ovens produced celadon, however, with different shades and gloss in the glaze. The glaze colors included light greenish blue, moon white, glossy gray and yellowish green. Although the colors were different, they all contained the common element of green or teal, and their beauty was enhanced by the differently colored bodies. The bodies may be black-gray, dark gray, light gray or earth yellow and, when coated with glaze, give different shades of green and blue. As the body colors were very deep, it gives a sense of sophistication.
The bodies most commonly used for Imperial goods contained quite high levels of iron, resulting in an effect known as "purple mouth and iron feet." At the mouth of the vessel, the glaze was thin, revealing the ground underneath, and thus the violet color; The feet had no glaze at all and showed the iron-rich body, which turned black after firing. Imperial porcelain was also borrowed from Ru oven technology, where the porcelain was decorated with crackling, giving the container extra vitality in the glaze color as well as sophistication and antique quality. This kind of beauty naturally arose through the glaze process, and corresponded to the ideologies of the Song Dynasty.
Historical records describe the imperial kilns of the Southern Song Dynasty at the foot of Mount Phoenix. Countless shards of chinaware and kiln furniture were found at the site described, but the kilns were unidentified until September 1996, when the Tiger Cave kiln was discovered at a location near the ruins of the southern imperial city of Song near Mount Phoenix , Among the large quantities of porcelain fragments were inscriptions in brown pigment with the inscription "Xiuneisi" or "Imperial Kiln" under glazed porcelain fragments that formed the bottom parts of the vessels. Subsequent excavation of the Hangzhou Cultural Relic and Archeology Institute revealed further imperial goods splinters and furnace tools. A second imperial furnace was built during the Southern Song Dynasty named Jiaotan Imperial Kiln. The ruins are now located in the southern suburbs of Hangzhou City.
Imperial Guan Porcelain of the Southern Song was distinguished by its glaze color, the crackling effect of the glaze and the shape of the vessels. The style was modestly simple yet elegant. The glaze effect made it feel damp and smooth like jade. Minimal decorations were used. Apart from the usual plant and animal motifs, there were also many types of parallel lines, the eight trigrams, cloud and thunder, geometric patterns, rings, dots and so on. The decoration techniques included engravings, molds, reliefs, sculptures, lace patterns and hole sculptures. The engraving was mainly used for bowls, dishes and other containers for daily use. Mold impressions have been widely adopted from the entire range of vessels. Embossed sculptures were mainly used for vases, kettles, stoves and wine vessels, which were vessels that imitated the old style. Perforated sculptures were used to decorate lids, pedestals and stoves. With the growing number of decoration methods and improvements in porcelain baking techniques, as well as a variety of hand tools, the Southern Song Imperial ovens were of the highest quality.
Ge furnaces have always been a mystery in the history of ceramics. Although authentic goods are exhibited in the Beijing Palace Museum, the Shanghai Museum and Taipei Palace Museum and elsewhere, there are few surviving Song Dynasty documents, and no kiln sites have yet been identified. In some ancient texts, the ceramics are called "Ge," which literally means "elder brother," as it appears to have been made by the eldest of a potter family in the Longquan region. It appears that their work resembled Bianjing's Guan goods, but the crackling in the goods was not the same as the "scratch marks of crabs in the sand" characteristic of Guan goods; instead, they were more like fish eggs in the pattern.
Existing goods belong to the Celadon family and include a wide selection of stoves, vases and dishes, including triple boilers, fish-shaped handles, glazed feet and double-handle kettles, cylindrical vases and thin-necked urns. with most imitates the designs of the ritual bronze ware and intended for the yard. It had common elements with Ru and Imperial kilns, but was very different from the porcelain used by ordinary people.
The most striking feature of Ge porcelain are the crackling patterns. The surface of the glaze shows natural patterns such as ice crackling, fine crackling or fish-crackling. The trapped areas may vary from widely spaced patterns called "rugged ice" to patches as small as fish eggs. The natural lines also vary in width and can be filled with different colors like black, gold or red. This effect is sometimes called "gold and iron filaments". The crackling in the glaze is caused by differences in the degree of expansion of various constituents of the glaze. This was originally a technical imperfection, but was exploited by the porcelain craftsmen and became an aesthetic feature. It is also known that the goods produce a pleasant, musical note when tapped.