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Jingdezhen Day 1 : YangYang Li & Susan

And so onwards to Jingdezhen to meet with contacts made last year and continue conversations.  First stop was to see YangYang Li whose work I had first seen at the night market last year.  Since then we had stayed in touch and collaborated on a number of pieces including our really popular pouring pots.  First we needed to eat and YangYang had prepared a wonderful vegan feast including the most incredible soup with sweetcorn and various fungi and some 'fruit wine' which at 60% was enough to almost knock me out after jet lag and additional travel!  'Its just like fruit juice and only 60% smiled Susan!!' It was also time to meet the terrible two - Yang Yang and Susan's two dogs who were with us throughout! 



After dinner I got a chance to look around the studio.  YangYang had previously shared with me her love of experimentation in the design and form of her pieces.  'I love making pieces in many casual ways and often develop some new methods in the process  the theme is usually unset but I put my style in it - often including hand drawings of plant elements'  This was certainly apparent as we looked around the pieces on display.


One of the reasons that I like this studio is that YangYang and Susan are really open to finding new ways to work on designs that we have in our heads or to make changes to pieces they have to meet our brief.  We spent a lot of time talking about new methods for some upcoming projects we have and also talking about different making and glazing techniques and how these affect the price of different items.  Leaving the studio we headed to the kiln.  As I have experienced in the past in Jingdezhen multiple potters/makers/designers will share one kiln. As we entered the kiln room people were stacking their pieces onto the slatted shelves.  'Each person pays according to the width and the height of the space they use up - higher and wider is more expensive'  This giant Jenga style puzzle of hundreds of different types of items looked extremely well packed and we stood and watched as a lady carefully and methodically loaded her pieces in.  This structure - which to me looked extremely precarious would be moved once full along the rails underneath it and into the kiln.  On the edge of the kiln other pieces were drying in the heat given off.  


Moving back to the studio we saw the space where YangYang applies her glazes and decoration - soon these crazy, wonderful ladies will move to a new space nearer to the mountains.  In their spare time they love to walk in the mountains, swim in the rivers, walk their dogs and just spend time relaxing.  Their happy and contented life is reflected in the freshness of their pieces


So...I am returning home with a small batch of our really popular pouring pots and a few new tea caddies.  

Orders made this week will be sent out next Tuesday so don't delay - they sell out quickly!  For the other new pieces it will take some time but as is often the case it will be well worth it! Watch this space!

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