These cups have been a long time in the making. Over the past couple of months we've been working with an ex-forger in Jingdezhen over several iterations to try to imitate as closely as we can this style of cups that we know and love from the Ming Dynasty.
We tried to do everything as closely as possible to the originals - the glazes were made by the last remaining Chinese National Treasure, specialising in this traditional type of ash glaze. The natural clay was wedged by foot in the traditional manner, rather than the standard machine wedging that is almost ubiquitous these days. This produces a clay that is less homogenous and has more character. The cups were thrown by hand and hand painted. Finally they were wood fired.
We're very happy with the results and have been using these cups daily. They make very nice cups for drinking Puerh tea, Luibao and Wuyi Yancha.
For those who would like to compare, we also gas fired some of these cups. The appearance is very similar, but the effect on the tea is different. You can select which firing type you'd like. The base is marked with the characters 放下 - a mark we're using for a range of teaware we're developing.