Week In Pictures (August 29 – September 4)Bitterleaf
It’s safe to say that if you’re one of our friends or family members, you’re getting tea and/or teaware for every birthday/holiday/special occasion.
Brewing on the go while heading to Jianshui. It definitely made the 3.5 hour journey much more enjoyable.
We encountered this beast while picking up some wood fired teapots. This teapot must easily close to or over 2 liters. While it was fun to hold, it was fairly heavy for Coomi, even when empty. We decided to leave this one with the studio and picked up some much more manageable pieces, which we hope to have out soon.
There were plenty of kids running around the studio where we get most of our zitao teaware from. This is the daughter of one of the women who makes lid handles and bases for some of the teapots. She was more than happy to show off her work, which was supposed to be a cake of some kind… If you look closely you can see small parts of teapots in there. Best of all she was quite adept at using the tools to construct this.
A colour-coordinated artist from the studio we work with in Jianshui, painting a teajar by freehand. Who knows, perhaps you have have a piece with her design on it already. Jianshui teaware is typically made by several individuals in a studio, as opposed to one artist completing every aspect. This can include separate people for throwing, painting, engraving, filling the engraving, making handles, making spouts, lids, polishing, etc. Although some jobs are certainly more functionally oriented than others, it's safe to say that everyone who works on these pots is an artist. #tea
Another one of the artisans from our studio in Jianshui. Although still quite young, she’s a bit older than the little cake maker above. Her role is quite imporant – painting designs by freehand. Jianshui teaware is typically complete by many people, with no one “artist” making the entire piece. Before she started painting, someone had to measure and prepare the clay, someone threw the clay, and after this someone will engrave the design, someone else may fill it with a different colour clay, someone will make the lid, then someone will fire it and finally another will polish it. Things like teapots will have even more hands in the mix in order to add spouts, handles and legs.
Another late night brewing in Jianshui, accompanied by a few of the teapots we decided to bring back with us. It’s scenes like this that remind us of how lucky we are that this is part of our daily life, to be able to go down and be surrounded by so much great tewaware. The least we can do is share as much of it as possible.