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Geoffrey said

Identifying Chinese Characters...

Hi everyone. I acquired this new tea tray for brewing gong fu cha last week:

http://hegathers.com/_images/tray1.jpg

It’s a decent step up from the tiny (and now eroding) bamboo tray I had before, and it is working quite well for the purpose. My question for anyone with a knowledge of written Chinese is about some characters carved into the face of this tray:

http://hegathers.com/_images/tray2.jpg

When I ordered the tray, it was advertised as having the characters 清心 (‘pure heart’) carved into this face, but these are definitely not those characters. Can anyone help me identify what this says?

Thanks for the help!

5 Replies

Nice tray! Yes the engraved characters are exactly 清心 (‘pure heart’) but in cursory style, and read from right to left :-D The one on the left (heart) is not in standard calligraphy style and misses a dot on top, which makes it a little hard to recognize for non-native speakers.

Your cups are pretty nice too :-D

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Geoffrey said

Cool! Thanks for the insight. I have no experience reading the calligraphic script, especially non-standard stuff. Now I see why it had me scratching my head. The box it came in showed the characters exactly as 清心.

I like this tray. It’s more convenient for me now that my tea paraphernalia is expanding. And it’s the kind with a removable plastic reservoir underneath, which makes the whole thing easier for me to maintain. My problem with the last one was that I’d occasionally forget to empty the water at the end of the day, and the bamboo started to crack, warp and develop a rot over time. I think that one may have been insufficiently treated for waterproofing, in addition to the abuse I put it through.

Thanks for the compliment on my cups! I absolutely love them. David at Verdant Tea sold them to me a couple months ago. They were the only pieces of handmade Ru Kiln teaware he had left from his last shipment. Their glaze is just starting to develop the beautiful crackling. I’ve asked David to put a couple more of these and a Ru Kiln teapot on reserve for me when his next big shipment comes in a couple weeks from now. I understand that he’ll have more pieces like this available at that time if you might want to acquire some for your self.

In any case, thanks again, Gingko. And cheers!

Bamboo is like that. At certain point you will have to seal it. If you remember to empty it and let it thoroughly dry each time, it can last much longer. But I never remember to empty it in time and often use it all day long and then leave water inside overnight. So my bamboo tray always look miserable from inside but totally normal from outside :-p I used some kind of white glue to seal it (the one for sealing sinks I believe) twice in the past several years. The white sealer looks quite ugly but is hidden inside the tray anyway. Now it starts to crack from outside too. I will hang on with it and see how much longer it can last :-D

Uniquity said

I love those cups. I recently placed a small order with Verdant Tea and was broken hearted that he didn’t have any in stock. Thanks for the heads up that they will be back in stock soon though!

Geoffrey said

@Gingko – So you’ve had the same problem as me with the bamboo tray. Glad I’m not the only one who isn’t totally fastidious about tray maintenance. I pretty much expected going in that a bamboo tray would not have any real longevity under the conditions. But I sometimes felt bad about how careless I was with that one. Probably could’ve made it last another year if I’d taken care of it properly. The thing is in pretty bad shape both inside and out now. Before ordering my new tray, I thought about sealing the leaks in my bamboo tray and even brought a special heat tolerant wood glue for the purpose, but before this repair project got off the ground my tray started developing a quite unpleasant funk that I could not get rid of with any amount of washing. Someone suggested that I might try treating it with vinegar, but I was more set on just getting a new tray at that point. I plan to take much better care of this new one! In any case, thanks for sharing.

@Uniquity – The cups are great! I highly recommend acquiring some of the Ru Kiln wares if you can. I use mine every day, and they are exquisite in every way (to touch, hold, look at, sip from). Cheers!

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