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2011 Yixing Tea Harvest

This year the tea harvest started a bit later due to the weather conditions but now finally it’s time.

For one reason or another I still didn’t manage to go visit Chái Lín Jūn’s tea-farm to take some pictures despite them already picking now the second day. 

In between we’ve been here though.

Fruit and other trees are grown between the tea bushes. Still without leaves this time of year but during the hot summer months their shade will protect the tea plants as well as keep them small and leaves tender.

The tea factory that produces from these fields was in Japanese hands before but has been sold back since then I’ve been told.

 

Inside its very roomy and clean.

 

 

Fairly modern equipment is being used to produce the tea.

 

Still handmade, but the temperature controlled and hot-air powered machines give an impressive result.

A whole day of picking with 140 workers on the 30th of March 2011 resulted in this much tea ->

 

Not exactly a lot and no one thinks they made any profit that day, but the quality is very fine indeed.

There was practically no sorting of tea done that first day as everything picked looked like the above.
In the next few days to come volume will increase of course.  Like on Facebook

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One more Dragon Kiln

just a few days ago I wrote I’d like to go and have a look at another dragon kiln if you knew where one is. Well, since then my wife and I found another one ourselves.
The Wuxi Institute of Arts & Technology does have another Dragon Kiln.
Don’t be fooled by the name, it is indeed in Yixing, just belongs to Wuxi for administrative reasons, like Yixing itself too actually.
This dragon kiln is not in active use, just like the other ones I wrote about.
It has been built for educational as well as for decorative purposes and just the existence of this very dragon kiln, although non-operational, gives reason for hope. It is a copy of the QianShu dragon kiln and the knowledge gathered in the process of copying it is in good hands. Some day, one of the students who was involved in the project might decide to give it a go, building one once more for active use.

Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology

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About Yixing clay and the current situation

some people might be interested to get some impressions about Yixing clay so I
thought I share some pictures in this and some of the next few posts.

I’ll start with Huanglongshan, which is probably the most famous and well known clay
mining area for Yixing clay. I took a few pictures the other day when i was hunting for
dragon kilns
.



The day we went there I’ve seen heavy machinery at work and it already fooled me for a second into the belief there might be some mining going on again. That’s not the case, they where just building some pathway or entrance for pedestrian access.


Looking a bit closer at the surface one can tell that there is of course some clay to be found still.


Most of it is long gone though. The backside of Huanglongshan where the mining went the deepest is a little pond now. Access there is apparently somewhat restricted or at least discouraged as most people are non-swimmers.


In another former mine (not for clay) just 1km away is a quite popular spot for swimming
which I often frequent myself in summer, but there too it is not officially allowed to swim
despite a local swimming club having a building and annual swimming competitions are
being held there.

Anyways, I got sidetracked a bit, back to Huanglongshan. Just because official mining has stopped there, at least for now, doesn’t mean no clay from there is available anymore. Quite a bit has been stored already long ago and in one of the next posts I’ll show yard pictures of one of the official local clay suppliers as well as some processing equipment. But even now, illegal mining on Huanglongshan takes place almost every night. And not only there.
You can see on the following pictures freshly dug holes on Huanglongshan where people scraped out what they deemed to be useful.


more about Yixing clay next time. Share on FacebookShare

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The Year of the Rabbit.

On Feb 3rd 2011 the Year of the Rabbit starts in the Chinese Zodiac and it is said people born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

So, if you plan to hand over any gifts on this occasion, you better be quick to get one in time…

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Tea poetry (from neighboring Japan)

on drinking Tea alone and with others

In my own hands I hold a bowl of tea; I see
all of nature represented in its green color. Closing my eyes
I find green mountains and pure water within my own heart.
Silently sitting alone and drinking tea, I feel these become part of me.

Sharing this bowl of tea with others, they, too, become one with it and nature.
That we can find a lasting tranquility in our own selves in the company with each other is the paradox that is the Way of Tea.

Iemoto Zabosai SEN Soshitsu XVI
Grand Master of Tea, Japan

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First pitiful zisha teapot [update]

A few days ago I shared the result of my first attempt at making a zisha teapot. The pot has now been burnt and it did survive. Yay! It is of course still ugly and also not 100% watertight but we kept it anyways… 🙂

The change of colour after the pot has been burnt is rather pleasant too.

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Welcome to the tea and pottery blog

Here at the tea and pottery blog we believe in tranquility lies the key to strength
or like 星云大师 (Master Xing Yun) says:

whilst passing through life
some take it quite seriously
some live it more laid back.

In this fast paced life one should ask oneself ,
what can we leave for the world beyond the memory of haste?