Yixing artists in SF(with pictures). Zisha demo and classes.

Last weekend I spend in the company of several Yixing artists and Yixing Ceramics Museum people at Po Zhou's ClayArt in San Jose. (
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) I believe I mentioned these guys couple of times before. The group visits the US regularly attending pottery seminars and conferences, etc. and giving group lessons to everyone who can afford $18 a day. This time it was quite a bunch of heavyweights with Pao Jin Song (curator of Yixing Ceramics Museum), professor Shi Go Fu, Dean of Ceramics Art Dept., at Wixi Institute and an editor of ZiSha (Purple Sand) magazine published in Taiwan. If that was not enough, he is a VP of YiXing Artisan Association. After a friendly tea there was a live demo of zisha chahu making by famous Cao Ming Ming of YiXing. It took her about an hour and a half to transfer a block of yixing zisha into a small lovely chahu that, after firing, was added to the collection of same created every year by visiting zisha artists at ClayArt. All the masters brought with them a good collection of their own work. My favorite was a wide chahu made of black zisha with tall square handle by my absolute favorite Ma ZiYuan. His works can be found in several ceramics museums all over the world.
The material they used was the same that we discussed couple of weeks before - zisha sold by the ClayArt. I expressed the concerns voiced by Dominic about the authenticity of this zisha. Both masters and professor Shi assured me that the zisha was 100% authentic and of very good quality. Then to everyone's laughing delight I conveyed Dominics suggestion to GuangZhen Zhou of ClayArt how to make more money on zisha sales. The Yixing guys said that they prefer to make money by teaching and selling their art internationally than becoming clay traders. They also said that if anyone wants to resell yixing clay they will have nothing against it - just buy cheap from ClayArt and become a millionaire. I told them about our little internet group and they asked me to send their very best to all rec.food.drink.tea guys and promised to start reading our drivel. Somehow I doubt that they will :)
Pictures can be found at
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Alex Chaihorsky

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