Jianzhan Special Limited Edition Handmade Teacup by Cai Bingsheng
Jianzhan kiln is one of the most famous ancient kilns in China. A large number of sites are located in Jianyang, Nanping city, Fujian province. The inner and outer parts of the handmade teacups are covered with black glaze, the outer wall is not completely glazed, and the outer wall is not completely glazed. The inner part of the teacup is covered with a black glaze, and the outer wall is not completely glazed.
The outer wall is often half glazed to avoid adhesion in the kiln. Because the glaze is easy to flow in the high temperature in the process of building a lamp, it has the phenomenon of hanging glaze, commonly known as “glaze tears”, “glaze beads”. This is one of the characteristics of the Jianzhan handmade teacups.
Among them, the partridge spot Calix is fired by the glaze decoration technology. Because the firing conditions are very high. Point colorful glaze kiln into partridge spot. Become an extremely rare species. Partridge’s feathers are purple and red in stripes, and they look like those of quail and sand hen. Their breast feathers are round and round with white spots, like beads, which no other bird has.
Building a handmade small teacup has a unique scientific research value, its modeling has a profound mechanical principle, because of the “building a small teacup” bottom small wall inclined, so it is used for tea, tea soup long hot difficult cold, easy to dry without residue, more not sour, and tea fragrance sent out quickly, soup color clarification, taste mellow.
In addition, the high iron content of the Jianzhan teacup has the effect of active water and soft water, which can make the tea taste better, soft, and sweet.
Background and History (Source: https://www.teavivre.com/info/secrets-of-jian-zhan-tea-cup.html)
“Jianzhan (Tian Mu Porcelain), as a representative of black porcelain, is one of the eight famous porcelains of the Song Dynasty in China. Jianzhan was created in the Tang Dynasty and the beginning of the Five Dynasties, the middle period of the Northern Song Dynasty to the middle of the Southern Song Dynasty was the heyday of Jian kilns.
The outstanding achievements of Jianzhan craft are reflected in the unpredictable and colorful glaze color, the representative glaze color is Wujin glaze, rabbit hair glaze, oil drop glaze, partridge feather glaze, Yao Bian, etc. The shape of Jianzhan is mainly bowl, which is simple and classic. The whole cup is heavy and hard, with a grey-black inner body; the glaze is thick and densely bonded with the inner body.
Later, the Jianzhan culture began to decline in the early Yuan Dynasty and vanished in the late Yuan. Until 1981, experts from a large number of institutions, such as the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, the former Fujian Institute of Light Industry, and the former Jianyang Porcelain Factory, used several years of research and experiments, and finally succeeded in firing Jianzhan. The ancient crafts of Jianzhan which had been vanished for more than 600 years were finally restored.”
Making Process of Jianzhan
- Clay selection. The glaze and clay of Jianzhan need to have high iron content. Other kilns in Song Dynasty have tried to imitate Jianzhan, but they usually cannot succeed for the minerals in their geographic location can hardly meet the standards of making a Jianzhan.
- Crushing. To place the prepared clay and glaze in a machine for pulverization
- Washing and sieve. The thickness of the clay or glaze should be moderate. After sieving, the clay needs to be put into the slurry tank, while the glaze needs to placed in the glaze pool.
- Chen Fu, which is a ceramic terminology, refers to place the clay in a room away from sunlight and air, keep a certain temperature and humidity, and store it for a while.
- Knead the clay. This process is aimed to further remove the air and impurities in the clay, make the mud dense, uniform humidity, and facilitate forming, meanwhile, it also prevents the clay from drying and cracking during post-production.
- Shaping, usually divided into hand shaping and machine shaping.
- Modification. The traditional shape of Jian Zhan is mainly a shallow circle foot, and the base part and the “inner ring ” of the foot need to be modified by a knife.
- Kiln the unglazed Jian Zhan. This process can increase the mechanical strength of the clay, and also remove a part of the cracked and fragile Jianzhan in advance.
- Blend glaze. The glaze formula of the ancient method is to use natural iron ore glaze and plant ash. These two simple substances can compose the beautiful glaze, which looks incredible, but the craft of making Jianzhan is to use the simplest materials to create the most mysterious crystals.
- Glazed. One of the big featured of Jianzhan crafting is the half-glazed. Ancient people would specially design a glaze line to facilitate the control of the glaze range. Glazing also needs a very skillful technique, ensure the glaze moderate. If thin, the room for the growth of the crystal is too small to produce a delicate work; if too thick, the glaze may easy to stick to the bottom.
- Put into the kiln. There usually needs to place a layer of alumina powder on the bottom to avoid the stick.
- Kiln and fire the Jianzhan. The kiln is the most important process of making Jianzhan. If the time, degree, and frequency of reduction are not well mastered, the desired glaze color will not be successfully created. After putting into the kiln, the master must be concentrate on controlling the degree of reduction and not leave for a long time.
- Finishing kiln. After kiln, due to various restrictions on the making process, each kiln will inevitably produce defective products, which must be disposed of on-site. Products that pass the quality inspection can be sold.”
Cai Bingsheng (Craft Artist), born in 1956 in the town of Shuiji ceramic production family, is very fond of the Jianzhan. He is the representative inheritor of the making skills of the kiln and the teacup in the protection project of intangible cultural heritage. He fired the delicate glaze color of the breeches, especially the blue oil drops. His works are deeply loved by the majority of Jianzhan lovers.
The construction of the calyx production industry has a high status. Cai Bingsheng said that his work depends on the first formula, match bad, color, and the decorative pattern is not. The second depends on the temperature, the temperature should be mastered well, the alternating season temperature is the key. Cai Bingsheng has long been committed to the study of traditional iron glaze.
Jianzhan Special Limited Edition Handmade Teacup
Cai Bingsheng works at the bottom like the color of iron, the glaze is simple and elegant, dry, high and mysterious, quiet and free from the vulgar, the glaze markings are naturally formed under the control of high temperature, abnormally changeable, the markings are crystal clear, the metal sense is strong, the work is extraordinary, with the distinctive personality and the traditional style of the thick house.
This is the proud work of Cai Bingsheng. The partridge speckle pattern is clear and full, presenting the changing form of gradually dispersing from top to bottom. It is a rare handmade special limited edition collection.
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