Maker: Lai Brothers Clay: Fine Porcelain Style: Hulu Gourd Gaiwan Kiln: Wood-Fired Volume: 110ml
This Hulu Gourd Gaiwan is not named after the semi-famous streaming service, but rather after the much more antiquated hulugua gourds valued in China since ancient times. These gourds and their shape hold connotations of health, as in ancient times many doctors carried medicine inside these gourds. Thus the shape of this gaiwan is very special, and can bring a healthy dose of cultural significance to the tea session. This gaiwan also has a slight warp to its shape, which occurred during the high temperatures of the wood-firing process, this shape however gives the piece a unique feeling without affecting its utility, as many gaiwan lids should not fit perfectly, in order to facilitate better pouring.
This gaiwan was wheel thrown by the older Lai brother, and tended to in the wood-fired kiln by the younger. The Lai brothers represent a younger generation of ceramicists who have moved to Jingdezhen to follow their passion for pottery in a city world-renown for it. The production of the the Lai Brothers is characteristically a little more raw and rugged than that of the more refined and experienced Yue Chao. Many of these pieces are not perfect in their shape, slightly changing during the intense heat of the wood-fired kiln, but it is their small differences that make every piece from the Lai brothers' studio so endearing to us!
As mentioned, each piece has been wood fired over a period of three days at temperatures over 1300 degrees Celsius. As every piece has been wood-fired, the slightly uneven flame and heat distribution in the kiln has created subtle variations on each piece in the form of crackled vitrified glazes, rough flame marks (火纹), and other unique elements to make each piece truly irreplaceable.
Learn more about the Brothers Lai in our recent blog post about Jingdezhen!