- Tea Knowledge
These particularly small cups, clocking in at a mere 20 ml, encourage slurping small doses of tea, offering more enjoyment of wafting aromas. Despite their size, thick walls of a dense clay lend them a surprising weight and therefore low center of gravity as well as a pleasing feel in the fingers. A pale, very subtly textured glaze over the dark substrate, exposed on the rim and foot, places them in the Fen Yin style, a storied production technique with renewed popularity. Beautiful on their own, they look even nicer alongside one another or the matching Fen Yin Gaiwan.
The Fen Yin style
Fen Yin is a technique and style of pottery first developed in China, which later made its way through Korea to Japan. Beginning as a way to create a paler ground than the underlying clay for colored glazes or patterns, a thick and opaque powder glaze was first applied. The form of the glaze, and its resultant appearance, as if the dark ceramics had been covered by a layer of white powder, lent the technique its name. While China and Korea moved on to refined porcelain and celadon, Japan continued and evolved the Fen Yin style, and under the influence of the mingei movement and postwar culture in the 20th century, a clean, minimal aesthetic of black and white with textured surfaces has emerged. Reflected back into China, among other places, it's a lovely thread connecting modern ceramics with historical crafts.
About the artist
Li Siqi is an emerging Jingdezhen potter. After graduating from the Fine Arts Department of Jiangxi Normal University, she spent half a year practicing ceramics at kilns in the southwest of China with a focus on sculpture and pottery. She fell in love with celadon and the Hutian kiln* (湖田窑), a famous kiln of the Song Dynasty, and has devoted herself to exploring the history of the craft.
In 2018, she established Qiwei (lit. ‘seven flavors’) Ceramics Studio in Jingdezhen, the capital of porcelain. It continues to inherit from the classic kilns, combining Song Dynasty gracefulness (Song Yun (宋韵), lit. ‘Song rhyme’) with modern lifestyles to create teaware with a historical touch for elegant yet practical chaxi.
*Hutian kiln is located is located in the Hutian Village, a suburb of Jingdezhen. The Hutian porcelain wares of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) were mainly decorated with fine patterns and made into beautiful shapes.