When I examine a piece of Asian ceramics about its age, one of the things I look for is the scars on the piece. Not really the scratches or chip damages per se, but some kind of evidences which the artists left on the piece — that is to say, his or her life experiences.
I don’t really think young apprentices (unless they are really talented), can imitate or produce something comparable to someone who’s been through life’s trials and tribulations.
A “life scar” remains in a person after great suffering. And through art and its tools, those experiences will surface and translate itself to something quite substantial - as if to say, this is the work by a genuine person - and not just by someone who perfected their techniques. What does one call that process? A style? An inspiration? Or a creative moment? I don’t know. What I do see is that among countless Chinese artists and potters, there were and still are a few brave soul who allowed their life scars and inner strength to come forward… so that when one looks and touches their artwork (or ceramic in this case), the observer will asks “How did he do that?”… or “Wow, that was really something” etc.