Monday, April 30, 2007

Trip to Yixing

Yixing, Pottery Capital of China and the Teapot Center of the World. Situated in the southeastern province of Jiangsu Province, where Jiangsu meets Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces, about four hours driving distance from Shanghai.
Ceramics Museum:We picked a Red Carpet day to visit the museum, literally, a red carpet day.
As we arrived staff and contractors were laying out the red carpet and massive floral arrangements.
Feeling a little disappointment that this was not in honor of our visit, but for a group of national dignitaries due later in the day, to open a ceramics art exhibition.
Sampling of museum exhibits ..

The museum, is a must see, but what interested me the most is the numerous artisans that have small workshops co-located in the museum grounds. I was quite surprise at the range of skill levels, and ages, of the artists.

The asking prices for their wares reflect the varying skills, or sense of self importance.
Caveat emptor, "Let the buyer beware”, mai zhe zi xing 买者自省

Book on Yixing Tea Pots

I picked this up a gift for a friend … very nice book .. would love to get an English language copy.
Cover and Sleeve...
Inside cover...Raw material .. Purple Clay, zi zhi 紫 埴 or (sand) sha
Teapot anatomy ...
Tools of the artisan ...
Making a teapot ...

Details on maker marks (Seal/Chop) ... yin zhen 印證 or tu zhang 圖章
The word 印 ("yìn") specifically refers to the imprint created by the seal. The colloquial name chop, when referring to these kinds of seals, was adapted from a Malay word during the colonization of the Straits Settlements.
In China, Name seals - 名印, are very important in all aspects of identification, showing authenticity and approval of quality. Personal Name Seal, xing ming yin - 姓名印
Examples of teapots ...

I'll continue to search out English language puplications .. some of the Chinese books are nice to have and can be used as ref. material ....

Visiting Suzhou

Suzhou city, is located in southeast of Jiangsu Province part of the Yangtze River Delta.
This is a nice diversion from Dongguan in the south.
When I’m in this area I always find time to visit with friends, mostly Taiwanese business men.
Mr Yen has the BEST tea table, my personal favorite. It’s perfect for his personality and you can’t help but enjoy the warm friendship.
Lots of Character in this table ....
Heather visits with Mr.Yen and Julia ...The plant manager stops by ...
You can feel the warmth ....

Interesting side line .. As workers are housed in dormitories on site, the Taiwanese factory owners have started up small scale farms and market gardens augmenting the cafeteria menu ...
Mr. Yen's goats ...keeps the grass down ..Foundation for factory expansion .. (less grass for the goats)
After work: "Eat a meal ?": chi fan ma 吃飯 嗎
Food in China is best shared with friends ...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Xi An - Terracota Warriors

Xi-An, Terracotta Warriors are the main draw for most tourists. Since their discovery my wife has wanted to visit the excavations ..
We managed to see examples when they came to Los Angles county museum of arts in 1980.
Needless to say we did visit Xi An, and in all honesty, the city of Xi An is not the garden spot of China. However, our time at the various excavations was truly awesome.
Interesting picture of the farmer, that accidentally uncovered the main burial section in March 1974.
Picture courtesy of my wife. (there is family anecdote about this picture)
Candid shot of him signing a book .. it should be noted that in this section no: unauthorised or flash photography was permitted .. hence the anecdote .. Robbie should blog her very interesting travel stories ...
No subtle hints here, note the open cash drawerThere are various accounts of the 1974 unearthing, these range from "a farmer" to a "group of farmers" ... That being said this is the only one present at the warrior site....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Plans turned pear shaped

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men Gang aft agley" Robert Burns"
I made it into China on Saturday as planed .. but got absolutely buried all day Sat-Sunday and Monday .. Will go to Shanghai on Tuesday, return on Friday...
Long story short; I Fed-Ex shipped my personal laptops (2) to China before I left the US. .. China customs will not allow shipment into China .. ONLY ONE PC per person !!! so I need to get clearance to ship them back and get just one laptop send back. .. NO COMMENT !!!!!!

So I don't plan any Blog updates for a few days .. (I using borrowed PC)
Weather in Dongguan turn to Summer .. very hot and humid.

In a couple of weeks I'll update with stories and pictures ..

Friday, April 13, 2007

Into HK

It's almost 9:00am Saturday morning here in Kowloon .. sitting at the Pacific Coffee Company. I'll take a few and shake out the 14 1/2 hrs of flight time .. spend the morning in Kowloon then head into mainland ....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Out of USA ..

I made it home for less than a week .. not my "A" plan ..
No blog updates for a few days ...
I'll be in HK; 7:30am, Saturday Apr. 14th. (星期六, 4月14 日)
Matt, I'll call Palo and arrange pick up at Fu Yong ferry terminal.
I'll plan on the 1:00pm ferry from Kowloon.
California office empty again ..We managed a few brews before I bailed out ....Couple of pictures to share .. I love the groom's facial expression ...
A picture is worth .. priceless

In Kowloon, across from Peninsula hotel .. Back streets of Guanzhou. (he looks happy)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pu-erh in Long term storage

Beijing 2008 Olympics Commemorative Cake. Picked this up in Ping Lin at Taiwan tea museum.2,000 gm cake in presentation packaging.Yu Xing Tea Company celebrate their 10th year anniversary: one off pressing of 999 Anniversary Cakes. Pressed by Menghai Tiandiren Tea Company with "best" picked leaves. Three cakes recommended by my friend Mrs. Yang.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Back in the Office

Monday, Apr. 9th. ... Made it back to the office .. Cathay flight CX884 out of HK to LAX, no problems ... Easter weekend in So.Cal.
Julia and Matt .. this picture for you.
Laguna beach.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hong Kong - NO "H Tea O"

A local Tragedy with world wide consequences ... H Tea O .. my favorite Hong Kong tea-coffee shop closed!!!! .. No memo, No e-mail, No "Dear John" letter ...
I checked into Marriott .. walked over to Queensway plaza, in Wan Chai, .. passing the familiar shops .. I approached HTO !!! now ... used to be .. in its place a "Double Star" cafe was in final stages of fit-out .. As we say back home .. "Bugger this for a game of soldiers" ..

H-TEA-O Tea Garden in Causeway Bay is open.
So no longer a stroll for tea .. jump on MRT .. will check out Causeway bay location next trip.
Exit E at Causeway Bay MTR (Victoria Park Exit), turn left, the first major building on the left, up the escalator next to Max Mara.
H-TEA-O is soon to open in Guangzhou, in the Tianhe District, next to Tiyuxi Station on the Guangzhou Metro. They will be opening in Mid-April.