Chinese Yixing Zisha Teapots:
Leona Craig Art Gallery
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|05.||Crushed Bamboo: original teapot art by Lu
Wen Xia and Lu Jian Xing, 2010
We asked Lu Wen Xia to make us a teapot, like the Funky Bamboo that was included in the Leona Craig Gallery. She knows that I have a good eye and high expectations, so, she wanted to make something more special. In fact, she made one but did not think that it was good enough for Leona Craig, so, she made another, and her husband, Lu Jain Xing, a famous Yixing sculptor whose work we also include in our gallery, wanted to be part of the making of this teapot art for us.
The end result is this one-of-a-kind, which we are titling crushed bamboo. It has their trademark details of making realistic markings, wormholes, chips and texture in the making of the bamboo. It has mushrooms for the lid pull that are so detailed that they look real, right down to multiple colors of clay, so it looks like dust is on the "breaks" of the stalks. Also, for the first time, in one of her teapots, she has included two insects: a ladybug and a lightening bug (firefly). Two screws are fashioned out of darker clay to make it look like the handle is screwed onto the body, and there are some wormholes on the bottom.
Although it has a small capacity of 150 cc, it is because only the top part of the teapot is a container, just like there are separate sections in real bamboo. It measures about 22 cm high (almost 9 inches) with a diameter of 7.5 cm (almost 4 inches).
The couple has done only a few teapots together, and recently several of their joint teapots were added to the collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Art, in the U.S.
For more art by Lu Wen Xia and Lu Jian Xing, in the Leona Craig Gallery, see the Lu Wen Xia Page and the Lu Jian Xing Page
|Chrysanthemum, original zisha teapot art
by Xu Zhong Fang, Yixing, China
The chrysanthemum is a lovely traditional theme in Yixing teapot art. It is characterized by representation of the flower petals stretching from bottom to top, 16 in total, ending with turned out, rounded tips.
This one by Xu Zhong Fang, done in yellow clay, is especially nice. The lid pull is the same pattern, in the small, and the spout and handle are classical
|75.||Tree Stump Gong Chun: zisha teapot by
Zhang Ji Da, Yixing, China
We have seen many teapots in tree themes, but we especially liked this one. It is titled burl Gong Chun because it is made in the basic shape of the Gong Chun teapot, the original teapot from the Ming Dynasty. Then, it adds to that general character with detailed carving to create the appearance of tree bark and stumps of trimmed branches, giving it the look and feel of a burl.
What also sets it apart is the craftsmanship that has gone into the continuation of the burl from the body to the tight-fitting lid whose pull is a wood ear mushroom. The handle is made as a branch; the detailed burling continues on the bottom.
Zhang Ji Da is an excellent artist who has studied teapot art, in Yixing, and who also has a degree in ceramic art from Harvard.
Sitting Leopard Gongchun: original one-of-a-kind teapot art by Sun Jin
This is a teapot from Sun Jin Li's forest series. In this series, the focus is on the animals, which are done in extreme detail, in miniature. If you look at them with a magnifying glass, you can see detailed etching of "fur", and features of ears, mouth, nose, eyes, paws and claws, and body are all done with great precision with different colors of clay (see close-up on hyperlink page).
This one is on a tree stump with an unusual shape, more like a gong chun style teapot, and three small feet.
The other thing that we like about the teapot art in the series is that Li has committed to making only one teapot of each that he makes in the series. So, each is complete unique: one of a kind (Li, himself, sells teapots from this series for as much as $10,000).
To see more teapot art by Sun Jin Li, in the Leona Craig Gallery, visit the Sun Jin Li Page.
|Tripod Milk Pale, zisha teapot art by Xu
Zhong Fang, Yixing, China
This teapot with its three feet, deformed from the clay of the base, is a traditional shape from a hundred or so years ago. We are always on the look out for some of the more traditional shapes to complement the more modern, artistic teapots that we have included in the Leona Craig Art Collection. Even though the traditional shapes seem more simple, it takes an expert artist to make good examples of them, an Xu Zhong Fang has done several that we just love. The spout has a downward curve, at its end, as is part of the classical tradition, and the lid fits integrally and tightly with the curves of the pot.
This is a shape from the classical period of Yixing teapots about a century ago. Xu has won several prizes with this work, the most recent of which was a gold prize, in Yixing, for its perfection.
Yellow teapot with Flowers: original zisha teapot art by Chen Min Jun,
This teapot follows in the tradition of simple, nicely-shaped body, like teapot artists have been making since the twentieth century. We liked its red color and leaves for the top and the spout. The other attractive design feature is the two flowers and overlaid leaves on the side of the body.
Of course, it is also topped with a nicely-detailed frog on the lid, which is a trademark of Chen Min Jun. It also comes in red.
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