Posted 1 year ago Comments
Satsuma ware tea bowl, Japan, 17th c, Edo periodIt happens eventually. You drop your favorite yixing teapot, or you chip that gorgeous little antique cup you love to drink out of. What to do? There’s super glue, there’s the trash can, or there’s the beautiful art of kintsugi — essentially, repairing broken teaware with veins of gold.
Kintsugi is said to have originated in the 15th century when a Japanese shogun broke a favorite tea bowl and sent it back to China to be fixed. But the repair job, which was done with metal staples (being the standard for repair at that time), detracted from the beauty of the bowl, so the shogun enlisted Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more aesthetically pleasing solution. Kintsugi, which means “golden joinery,” was born.
Although kintsugi repair makes it appear as though the original piece was mended with gold, the process is essentially a form of lacquer art. Broken pieces are glued back together using urushi lacquer, derived from the sap of the Chinese lacquer tree (Latin name, Toxicodendron vernicifluum), with the final layer of urushi covered with fine gold powder. The “toxic” part comes from the urushiol oil which is found in very high amounts in the tree’s sap, and which also happens to be the ingredient that’s responsible for forming the dense and highly durable lacquer once dried. You might have come into contact with urushiol yourself if you ever had a tangle with some poison oak or ivy, which are also of the Toxicodendron family of plants. Fortunately, once the urushi dries and hardens the toxic effects of the urushiol oil are essentially nullified, making the lacquer ware safe to handle and even to use in contact with food, or tea.
Posted 2 years ago Comments
I have just received my new products from Mandarin’s Tea Room!
The two products I purchased are as follows:
Mou Lu Ni 80s yixing
Clay: Ben Shan Mou Lu Ni. (ink green)
Style: Shui ping (water balance)
Size: 40 ml (single person use)
Walls: Thick (for the proportion)
Fire: Mid. Coal fire, Factory kiln
Pour: Smooth. Straight clean / No drips.
Lid: No mark
Bottom: Square stamp ‘Made in Yixing’
Length: 3.75 inches (Tip of spout to tip of handle)
Body: 2.125 inches
Height: 1.75 inches
Fine Bone China Gaiwan set
Gaiwan, Saucer, with 4 matching Cups.
Walls: Thin and Transparent.
Decoration: Gold Gilded Rims, and color painting of Dragon and Phoenix.
Size: 100 ml.
Decoration: Gold Gilded Rims, and color painting.
Size: 20 ml each.
Not only that, but I also received a wonderful 20g sample of 2011 WuYi High Fired Old Bush Shui Xian!!
VERY HAPPY with the beautiful items I received!!
I highly recommend MTR if you have some spare spending money!! :)
I don’t know what tea I will dedicate the little yixing pot to yet (no idea what I mean by that? Check out this article on dedicating a yixing pot and why!)
Some more shots of them in action soon!!
Posted 2 years ago Comments
Just put through an order at Verdant Tea for some Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe Oolong tea (aka Da Hong Pao Tea).
VERY excited about this tea, I have been looking for a source for a while now!
Will definately post a review when it arrives!
Here’s some info about the tea courtesy of Wikipedia:
"Dà Hóng Páo (大红袍, lit.: “Big Red Robe”) is an important Wuyi Oolong tea. According to legend, the mother of a Ming Dynasty emperor was cured of an illness by a certain tea, and that emperor sent great red robes to clothe the four bushes from which that tea originated. Three of these original bushes, growing on a rock on Mount Wuyi and reportedly dates back to the Song Dynasty, still survive today and are highly venerated. At one point, less than one kilogram of tea was harvested from these plants each year, of which a portion was retained by the Chinese government. In 2005, Da Hong Pao can sell for 30,000 US dollars per kilogram.
In recent years, a number of companies have invested in preserving the interest in this tea and other so-called “artisan” teas, which typically are of very high quality and have rich histories as is true with Da Hong Pao. These have an initially high cost of production (and typically are only considered authentic when grown in their place of origin), but, as they have quickly become popular in Western countries, prized selections of the tea are available each year, with quality being consistent due to the increased popularity of tea.
Cuttings taken from the original plants have been used to produce similar grades of tea from genetically identical plants. Taste variations produced by processing, differences in the soil, and location of these later generation plants is used to grade the quality of various Da Hong Pao teas.
Due to its high quality, Da Hong Pao tea is usually reserved for honored guests in China.”