Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
When climbing in the hills, one cannot always stop to boil water, but holding a few tender buds in the mouth refreshes the spirit as well as weary feet. Frost covered buds were sweeter and more fragrant.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Ding Shan would be a miserable place to spend a week if you didn't like teapots, or at least some sort of earthenware or ceramics. For example: flowerpots and large jars. The main attractions of Ding Shan besides the shopping are the Yixing factories number one and two, the Yixing museum and the place where famous Song dynasty poet Su Dongpo went to school.
Stone Marker with Dongpo written on it
Previously, the Yixing ware shops were spread around all parts of the town of Yixing. There was a large market across from the museum, which is almost abandoned now, however many artists keep studios on the grounds adjacent to the museum. There is also a market next to the bus station and many shops on Jiefang Rd. Probably the most expensive place to buy a pot are the shops inside the grounds of Factory number one. I expect prices are so high there because rent is too. There are lots of decent shops near factory number one as well.
In the past few years people have been moving slowly buy surely to the new ceramic market. This is a very large area full of shops which specialize in Yixing and nothing else. The new market has at least 8 sections. Each section has roughly 20 buildings, and each building has around 10-20 shops depending on the size of the individual building and of the shops.
|The New Market|
The new market has shops which deal only in Yixing teapots, with a few selling tea and other tea supplies. There are barely enough restaurants, convenient stores and hotels to keep one alive though ones pot shopping experience. I stayed in a hotel within district H. There was a computer in the room, and the place was new so I was very pleased at 120 RMB per night.Yixing was a great place to explore, I felt a week was not quite enough, but I did waste a lot of time helping a friend purchase supplies for his retail outlet. We saw the sights within Yixing, but did not explore any of the beautiful countryside beyond.
I was talking to a potter who told me fake wrinkles were made on zhuni pots by pressing toilet paper onto the unfired clay. Below are pictures of the toilet paper supposedly used to fake the wrinkes.
|Toilet paper texture|
This toilet paper is a lot different than what I grew up with and is not super soft. I thought other Americans might not understand using toilet paper to fake zhuni, but it really does remind me of zhuni wrinkles.
|Toilet paper packaging|