Designed by Mei Leaf in collaboration with the expertise of our potters in Jianshui. This clay cup features the 'Gan' design and isapprox 70ml to rim (in practice about 50ml serving capacity), making it ideal for any Gong Fu session. Very Limited Stock.
Clay cups are great for experiencing the softening and rounding effects of Jianshui clay after brewing in porcelain for glass. In this way, you can add the effects of Jianshui to any session.
This cup is designed to accompany the Jianshui 'Hui' Pot and the 'Yun' Gong Dao Bei but it can be used in any setup. The shape is stable and very ergonomic with a great tactile feel in the hands and easy sipping contours.
The 'Gan' symbol is taken from ancient Chinese character styles known as Seal or Liushutong style. I love the graphic quality of these characters to give the clayware a hybrid traditional and modern aesthetic with meaning.
The 'Gan' character means sweetness but not just in terms of taste. 'Gan' can also mean a sense of sweetness in a situation like in the phrase 'sweet rainfall' after a long period of dry.
The 'Gan' character is often used in tea with the term 'Hui Gan' which describes that returning sweetness on the tongue which transforms from bitterness after swallowing. We have 'Hui' pot perfectly suited to work alongside this cup and complete this commonly used tea descriptor.
ABOUT JIANSHUI ZITAO
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 gold characters on this teaware is 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. This slip inlay process is long and laborious but the result is a smooth finish with a natural appearance and will not fade like paint.
The clay wares are fired in kilns for up to 20 hours at around 1000 degrees Celsius and are then hand sanded to this black colour. 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.