ABOUT JIAN SHUI ZITAO
Jianshui, a region in Yunnan has been producing pottery for over 3000 years and all this experience shows. The pottery is actually produced in a village called Wanyao, situated near Jianshui. Jianshui produces ‘Zitao’ purple pottery which is an actual clay, not to be confused with the Yixing ‘Zisha’ purple clay which is often described as more of an ore.
The material is commonly known as Jianshui ‘Zitao’ which translates as 5 colour clay - red, yellow, white, black and purple clays are used. Each pot displays shades of different colours, as a result of the firing conditions in the kiln - making your teapots and cups unique. Add to this, the potters' skill in mixing clays to create products with unique mosaics and stripes; you have something very special. We take time to appreciate the Jianshui products that come to us, knowing, there will never be one like it again. Every stripe, colour and pattern is unique to just that one product.
Despite being less well-known than Yixing pottery on the international market, Jianshui Zitao is by no means a runner up. Jianshui products are so amazing and beautiful, they are a must for any tea lover and teaware collector. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on to Jianshui and their amazing pottery. In fact, due to the extremely high quality of their craft, Jianshui products very difficult to fake, which is a real blessing.
Jianshui teapots and cups are high fired; often for many days, which result in many of them being cracked or damaged. The ones which survive, are truly special and they seem to know it. They ring like glass and feel completely different from the other forms of pottery in China. The pots are unglazed but can be polished to a high gloss. Unpolished teapots and cups, can also be 'yang-ed' or raised like Yixing teaware and absorb tea oils which help to develop a shiny exterior over time.
Finally, the magnificence of Jianshui products are truly apparent when you see them for yourselves and handle them. It is a beautiful relationship. Your tea-ware help produce delicious tea for you to enjoy and your continued use and care, makes them ever more beautiful and valuable. Over the months and years, you'll simply fall in love with your Jianshui products and they will gleam from your nurturing.