2011 Yixing Tea Harvest

This year the tea harvest started a bit later due to the weather conditions but now finally it’s time.

For one reason or another I still didn’t manage to go visit Chái Lín Jūn’s tea-farm to take some pictures despite them already picking now the second day. 

In between we’ve been here though.

Fruit and other trees are grown between the tea bushes. Still without leaves this time of year but during the hot summer months their shade will protect the tea plants as well as keep them small and leaves tender.

The tea factory that produces from these fields was in Japanese hands before but has been sold back since then I’ve been told.

 

Inside its very roomy and clean.

 

 

Fairly modern equipment is being used to produce the tea.

 

Still handmade, but the temperature controlled and hot-air powered machines give an impressive result.

A whole day of picking with 140 workers on the 30th of March 2011 resulted in this much tea ->

 

Not exactly a lot and no one thinks they made any profit that day, but the quality is very fine indeed.

There was practically no sorting of tea done that first day as everything picked looked like the above.
In the next few days to come volume will increase of course.  Like on Facebook

More on Yixing clay

The other day I wrote that I’d post some impressions of Yixing clays, so here we go. We visited a local (and official) clay factory. Its name is 亨利陶瓷厂(Hēnglì táocí chǎng) and they are a supplier XuJianQing uses(not exclusively though).

the sign translates to ‘high quality zisha clay’

the sign reads ‘ready product storage’

and inside their storage & sales area it looks like this:
Inside clay storage area with Yixing zisha clays ready for sale
Inside clay storage area with Yixing zisha clays ready for sale

as this post would probably be too picture heavy if I include all the pictures I list thumbnails instead.

DiCaoQing Yixing clayPinZiHeiXing Yixing clayHongQingShuiNi Yixing clayPinzi40muHuangJinZhiMa Yixing clay
TeZiPin Yixing clayJuHuangDuanNi Yixing clayTeZi_JiangNanYiSe Yixing clayZiLiNi_HongQingShuiNi Yixing clayJiangNanYiSe Yixing clay
LaoDuanNi-HuangJinZhiMa Yixing clayXinPinzi Yixing clayZaoHongNi Yixing clayLaoDuanNi Yixing clay
LongXueSha Yixing clayZiQingShuiNi Yixing clayMeiHong Yixing clay (click to see a bigger version)

all of the above clays are readily available to basically anyone who pulls out the money. Next time I’ll show some pictures of the processing equipment used as well as the storage of unprocessed material which has been sitting in their yard for years. No clay sold in there is younger than at least 6 years I have been told.

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One more Dragon Kiln

just a few days ago I wrote I’d like to go and have a look at another dragon kiln if you knew where one is. Well, since then my wife and I found another one ourselves.
The Wuxi Institute of Arts & Technology does have another Dragon Kiln.
Don’t be fooled by the name, it is indeed in Yixing, just belongs to Wuxi for administrative reasons, like Yixing itself too actually.
This dragon kiln is not in active use, just like the other ones I wrote about.
It has been built for educational as well as for decorative purposes and just the existence of this very dragon kiln, although non-operational, gives reason for hope. It is a copy of the QianShu dragon kiln and the knowledge gathered in the process of copying it is in good hands. Some day, one of the students who was involved in the project might decide to give it a go, building one once more for active use.

Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology
Educational dragon kiln in the Wuxi institute for arts and technology

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