Work at the Tongguan Kilns was similar to a modern assembly-line. Potters shaped the clay vessels, then handed them over to artists who painted designs or applied stamped and molded decorations. The artists then gave the vessels to glazers who coated them in the characteristic green-tinged finish. Kiln operators fired the vessels in massive kilns, called “dragon kilns,” that could produce hundreds of vessels simultaneously.
While standardization seems to have been a priority for the Tongguan ceramicists, there is also evidence that they constantly experimented with new forms, new designs, and even new glazing techniques. Changsha Ware was intended to be exported for a profit, and the ceramicists were eager to create new products for their buyers.