Ian Krouth said

"Ru" teawares

Does anyone have any pieces of Ru school/style porcelain?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_ceramics#Ru_ware

Someone in my area (Verdant Tea/David Duckler) imported some cups and a pot, and it is STUNNING. Pictures don’t do it justice…it’s a very tactile experience. The pieces I’ve seen and held feel thick, like a feather pillow, but the finish is smooth as eggshell and creamy in color. You can just see the crackles in the new ones; the used cups he showed me are super rich, more like the pictures in the article. The tea darkens and oxidizes the glaze crackles and banishes the milky finish.

Some of it can be seen at verdanttea.com (http://verdanttea.com/shop/tea-wares/hand-made-blue-ruci-porcelain-cup/)

This is the cup I managed to buy.
Sorry for the poor picture quality; my real camera is out of commission, so I had to make do with iPad shenanigans.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/eblackstar/401791f4.jpg

27 Replies

I only wished I had been able to photograph the tea pots the same artist who crafted your cup made before they sold. Literally gone the same day they arrived from China… This time around I am letting him know months ahead of time to make lots of great pieces to have around. I am glad that you appreciate that lush texture and feeling the glaze gives. It reminds me of mint ice cream. I will try to get the artist to take more photos, and if he is able to, I will post them here.

Ian Krouth said

Ooh, good description…mint ice cream. Yeah, I was playing with the cup this morning and fantasizing about the pot…too bad there’s no photo! It was so beautiful. Though like I said, pictures don’t do it justice.

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kuanyin said

Oh, I would love a tea pot like that. The cup is lovely, but I know I wouldn’t end up using it. (No handle=too hot and too small for me to use frequently). I can tell that I would love to hold a piece in my hand and feel it.

I am getting a few ru kiln mini teapots from China and expect to receive it in 1-2 weeks! I will test drive them with a few friends and report in my blog how they are.

bobL said

Celadon has a very thick glaze so it would be very unlikely that you would burn yourself on a cup of this type. I’m so hooked on celadon right now. I love the way the crazing ages from use.

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My everyday infuser teacup is a Rishi Koryo (Korean Celadon) that has a crackle glaze similar in character to Ru Kilns glaze, but with a much heavier ceramic. The Ru kiln (or Ru Yao kiln) has produced such fantastic works that it is very easy to fall in love with. I am especially fond of the way the glaze becomes transparent at the edges and gives an added feeling of depth and lustrousness. I have seen some nice pieces offered by Yunnan Sourcing, but it is really hard to photograph adequately to express the tactile nature of these pieces.
Another link to Ru Kiln info, both ancient and contemporary: http://www.chinauniquetour.com/html/Luoyang/2011118/arts-6577.html

I’m looking forward to seeing what David is able to get for sale! :)

Geoffrey said

Wow. Great info on the history of Ru Kiln wares! Thanks for sharing that. Makes me appreciate my Ruci cups and teapot all the more! I love the pieces of Ru Kiln that I have (four scalloped cups and gongfu teapot). Mine are all in the blue glaze (which looks like light green jade). They add so much to the aesthetic experience of my tea ritual. Exquisite to look at, touch, hold and sip from. The glaze is superb and I’m loving how it crackles with extended use. I would highly recommend acquiring some of these while David still has them available. They will sell out in a flash. Here are some illustrative photos of the pieces that I have:

My full gongfu setup
http://hegathers.com/_images/gongfu.jpg

Closer view of my Ruci cups and teapot
http://hegathers.com/_images/ruci-close.jpg

Cup crackling after 3 months of everyday use
http://hegathers.com/_images/crackle.jpg

Geoffrey your teaware and setup is beautiful! :)

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Ever since I got in my first batch of hand made crackle glaze ru kiln wares, people have been asking for more.

I am pleased to say that I was able to track down six more pots and a few dozen cups. I just got them up on my site with some basic photos if anyone wants to take a look. I didn’t do the best job capturing the almost luminescent ghost-lines of crackling that have formed, but you can get the idea. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions.
Have fun!
http://verdanttea.com/shop/tea-wares/

Gorgeous! :)

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Dinosara said

I just picked up a ru pot (actually more like a pot/gaiwan hybrid) and fairness pitcher. It really is lovely. I was wondering of those that have and use this tea ware… is there any special care I should give them? Any thing that I shouldn’t brew in there, or anything like that? I can’t wait to get home and start using it!

Geoffrey said

Hi Dinosara. Congrats on your new Ru piece! Anything is game to brew in them. I use mine as a second all-purpose brewing vessel alongside my gaiwan. I typically end up using it for blacks and shu puer though, because their liquor is dark and I’m keen to develop some nice crackling on the pot. My cups are well crackled already after many months of daily use. The outside of the pot it seems will take a little longer because the tea I pour over it slides down the sides and doesn’t have as much time to seep into the ghost cracks like when it’s in a cup or on the inside of the pot. So I usually pour some part of each steeping over the pot like I would for an yixing, but it doesn’t absorb flavors or anything, it’s just to develop it aesthetically.

I don’t give them any special care, just wash out with rinse of hot water when I’m don’e using them. I don’t think soap washing would be a problem with these, but I also don’t think soap is necessary unless you get them into some serious crud or questionable sanitary trouble. I always find that hot water is enough though. Hope you enjoy!

Dinosara said

Thanks for the tips! I can’t wait to start using mine!

bobL said

I’ve also read that its a good idea to occasionally submerge the celadon item in water to even out the patina. I haven’t had mine long enough to try yet, but with as much dark roasted oolongs I’m drinking out of my cups, it won’t be long till I’ll need to!

Dinosara said

That’s probably a good idea! I’ve been mostly drinking green oolongs in mine, so the patina will be very slow going, but I love it already.

I wanted to come back to this thread and say that I really love my Ru yao teaware. When I went to China my plan was to buy a gaiwan and a yixing pot for gong fu. I ended up deciding to only get a small ru pot (though it is designed more like a gaiwan, i.e., no handle, you pour it with one hand and your finger on the lid, etc), and I’m very pleased with my decision. At this point in my tea journey I don’t really want to dedicate my pot to only one kind of tea, and I love that I can drink all kinds of teas in my ru ware. I know I use it a lot more than I would a yixing pot (again, that’s my situation of course).

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Warren said

I have Ru Yao cups that I use all the time. When drinking tea, compared side-by-side to the same tea in a porcelain cup, tea in Ru cups always seem to taste far better. Tea scent also lingers much longer in the Ru cup than in a porcelain cup.

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bobL said

i’ve recently discovered ru celadon. I’m hooked. Started with a pair of cups for the wife and myself. Since then, I purchased another larger cup and a fair cup. I don’t think I’m even close to done yet. I’ve seen some stuff on Tea Urchin’s blog that I’d love to get my hands on.

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bobL said

I finally got my fair cup in the mail today. Woohoo! It is lovely. Can’t wait to use it, but I gotta get to work first so I guess I’ll have to wait.

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bobL said

very nice!

That is the fair cup/cha hai I’m looking at and your yixing pot is stunning!

bobL said

Neat, thanks! I will keep the set in mind.

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I’ve been looking a lot online recently at Celadon, specifically Ru Kiln and have fallen in love. I saw several old threads on TeaChat, but I thought I’d search here.

David Duckler is there any chance you might be bringing more Ru ware in any time in the next year? I know you talked about working with local artists to make gaiwans but I’m just wondering if it was a possibility. Wish the links still worked so I could see more photos.

Gingko I just went to your site and only found some photos of cups but none for sale, any chance you may be restocking? I would feel better purchasing from people I know than ordering on Ebay, though there are some specific gaiwans I am drawn to.

Love the undulations on this one. It’s only $30, anyone familiar with the seller?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170628818409&trksid=p2992.m753#ht_10053wt1270

Cups to match though there are so many beautiful designs for cups
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Teaware-Ru-Kiln-Porcelain-cup-2-options-color-60ml-/170628863414?trksid=p2992.m185&trkparms=algo%3DSIC.NPJS%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUA%26otn%3D20%26pmod%3D170628818409%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D8787077676703012216#ht2894wt1270

This “easy gaiwan” from Dragon Tea House, not that I think I would have any trouble with a regular gaiwan (unless the ru ware gets extra hot) but I like the lines on this, scroll down for more photos. It’s almost $50
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ru-Kiln-Moon-White-Celadon-Gaiwan-140ml-4-73-fl-oz-CFG-/230608068315?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b14fdedb#ht_7352wt_1037

And for further down the road (if they are still available) these tea pots are gorgeous: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Phoenix-Ru-Kiln-Celeste-Celadon-Teapot-170ml-5-7oz-HL-/221009396147

I have a feeling once I start with Ru-Ware I’m going to keep wanting to collect it, which could be a dangerous thing ;)

Those who have ordered pieces, where did you get them from and what was your experience? I’m always in favor of folks sharing photos of their wares!

Also I’ve read mixed reviews on the whole heat issue, some say it gets hotter than porcelain, others say the glaze is thick so its not an issue. Thoughts? Personal experiences?

Thanks! -Autumn

bobL said

I’ve got several pieces of celadon now. None seem to get too hot. One thing to keep in mind with any gaiwan is to not over-fill it. Once the water gets too high on the lip, then it gets hard to handle. I suspect that might be the issue some folks might be having in regard to heat. The glaze really is thick, inherently, but that is not to say you can’t get burned.
:)

Excellent that helps!

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