Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yixing, properly


I've made a fuss about how much I love clay teapots, so to see this perfect example at the ROM was a dream. A Yixing clay teapot from the late Ming Dynasty. Look how elegant it is, how perfectly simple yet stunningly beautiful. The sign of truly great craftsmanship is how the lid fits, how the handle and spout connect seamlessly with the body. No (at times hideous) engravings marking the teapot, just an otherworldly display of the raw beauty and form of Yixing craftsman. On loan from the private collection of a rich English woman, no less. They say that when you're selecting a teapot, you don't select necessarily on physical properties. It's a feeling, a relationship between you two - once you see the right one, that feeling is unmistakable.

In the appreciation of tea, as in life, I long for things that belong to another.


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