Master Chen Zhi Jian is a young and promising artisan who specialises in making teaware in Chaozhou, China with excellent craftmanship rarely seen amongst contempories. He insists on handcrafting teaware instead of mass producing those ubiquitous factory wares. By crazily insisting on this wheel throwing artform, he truly embodies what his Chinese name literally means when we see him remaining so persistent and steadfast in his beliefs regarding creating teaware with character and soul.
Making teapots and teaware is a time consuming and boring process which entails long periods of silent solitude. This might be painful for most people his age but on the contrary, for Master Chen, it is enjoyable due to his passion. Being crazily passionate about his creations, his passion for such teaware surpasses those avid collectors who acquire such teaware for a hobby. It is thus with such a passion and pursuit for perfection, he can push himself to create more meaningful masterpieces which I believe enthusiastic collectors will enjoy as well especially those Kung Fu Tea aficionados.
This round handmade tea tray is made with Chaozhou red clay. Although a tea tray is not the main focal point of the Gong Fu Tea ceremony, it nonetheless plays an important supporting role in this tea preparation culture which originated in Southern China.
From centering and opening the clay, pulling and throwing the walls, creating drainage holes by hand on the uppermost slab, then handbuilding the bottommost foot ring to the final stage of firing in the kilns, it is both a test of the potter's craftmanship and throwing skills and sheer luck during the unpredictable process of firing to see a final product successfully making its appearance. With his passion and integrity imbued in his creations, teapot lovers or teaware collectors will surely find meaning and see the value in adding this to their collection.