Materials & Techniques


The sancai, or three color, technique is a hallmark of Tang dynasty (618-906 CE) clay sculpture. The colors were created by adding metallic oxides like iron and copper to lead glazes. The glaze was then splashed, streaked, and dappled over the surface of the sculptures. By the 8th century CE, these lead-based glazes expanded to include hues of green, amber, yellow, brown, white, and blue; however, the most common combination is green, cream, and brown.

Adapted from

"Pair of Lokapalas (Heavenly Guardians)," DMA Connect, 2012.