Fully handmade Jianshui clay cups with our exclusive Mei Leaf Pixelsquare design. Very limited stock.
All of our Jianhsui teaware is made by the potter in the video below and is handcrafted individually. Read more about the unique Jianshui production process below. Every piece is totally individual and there are natural variations in colour and design. PLEASE NOTE: the yellow and blue Pixelsquare designs are not painted on. These are inlays of coloured clay. The teaware has to be engraved and then filled in with the coloured clay before firing. Then the wares have to be carefully sanded and polished to make a smooth surface with no blurring between the colours. This simple design actually takes a lot of work and skill.
Jianshui clay is lesser-known than its cousins, Yixing purple clay and Chaozhou red clay but Jianshui has a long history of clay teaware making and a unique style and character which we love at Mei Leaf.
The clay used comes from five different ores from the surrounding hills around Jianshui in Yunnan. The five ores (white, yellow, purple, cyan and five colour) are blended and cured to make a clay which is strong and stable with excellent heat retention and tea softening qualities.
Once the clay has been made, it is kneaded and thrown on the potter's wheel to be formed by hand without the use of any moulding. This is completely handmade and a testament to the immense skills of the Jianshui potters.
After the clay wares have been made, they are shaped by hand using tools and then sent to the painters to illustrate the designs. BUT, what you see on the teaware is not paint, instead, it is coloured clay called a slip inlay. The engravers carve out the painted illustrations and fill with the slip inlay of various colours to create the pattern. If two colours are touching each other then they will have to make the engraving twice (once to carve in one colour and then, after the clay has dried, the second colour clay has to be engraved into the first). This slip inlay process is long and laborious but the result is a smooth finish with a natural appearance and will not fade like painting.
The clay wares are fired in kilns for up to 20 hours at around 1000 degrees Celsius and are then hand sanded to either a black colour or further to a brown colour. We have asked for all of our Jianshui collection to be sanded halfway between black and brown to give a multi-tonal colour which makes every piece completely unique. We then commissioned the teaware to be half polished to give a tactile satin feel without being over glossy. Our aim in these pots is to show off the natural beauty of this clay and the Jianshui traditional techniques with a fresh and modern design.