Here are the answers of some of the questions you guys have asked.
We have three clay sources:
1. Some of our top clays and ores were collected by She Rong Fei 佘荣飞 and Gao Song Yun 高松云 about 20-30 years ago.
佘荣飞 She Rong Fei, a zisha lover/crafter and collector (he owns masterpieces such as Gu Jing Zhou 顾景舟, Xu Han Tang 徐汉棠 to Qing and Ming dynasty antiques). He has devoted his life to zisha and the zisha industry, and has been dealing with grandmaster pieces while owning some at his own studio and company for over 30 years. His knowledge and his network is priceless, having exclusive access to some of the country’s most famous names from various industries - from master zisha artists to famous painters to chief designers to the best clay makers. Due to his expansive connection and knowledge of the art world, 佘荣飞 She Rong Fei has become an authority in art/antique authentication and is a gatekeeper to some of the industry’s best talents and most precious masterpieces. In his circle, his social status in the zisha world is unquestionable.
高松云 Gao Song Yun is an almighty senior master of arts and crafts. He can make just about anything precisely and outstandingly. He is also a famous teacher and is a mentor to some of the biggest names/masters currently in the industry. I will in fact be sharing some of the masterpieces by his master students and mentees sometime in the near future.
Both She Rong Fei and Gao Song Yun possess top quality clay that is not open for public use and only available for themselves, sold within their circle or to the masters that have earned their trust and respect. The starting price point of their clay starts at $560 (USD) per 15kilos to $10k USD per 15 kilos. The pieces we sell made with some of these clays starts at $285 and above - price will vary depending on the artist’s skill/craftsmanship and reputation.
2. Another top clay we use is 金林传砂 Jin Lin Chuan Sha, owned by 朱金林 Zhu Jin Lin, the King of Zisha Clay and Creator of the Legendary Jin Lin Chuan Sha. Jin Lin Chuan Sha, is a famous name synonymous with some of the best quality zisha in Yixing. Zhu Jin Lin possessed the unique ability to mix clay (‘tiao sha’ 调沙工艺) skilfully and at one point fascinated the world through his uncanny skill to bring out the very best qualities in zisha. Due to his special know-how, clays prepared by Zhu Jin Lin were exclusively referred to as 'Jin Lin Chuan Sha’ and are highly sought-after by collectors and artists alike. I actually just posted about the background of Zhu Jin Lin and Jin Lin Chuan Sha very recently. You can read more about it here:
https://yannzishagallery.com/pages/abou ... 0%E7%A0%82
This clay’s price point starts at $600 per 15 kilos and up. And is not sold to the general public.
3. We also have our own small clay factory that specialises only in traditional processed Zhuni, both Zhao Zhuang Zhuni and Xiao Mei Yao Zhuni. This is our homage to how clay was processed back in the old days - which means everything we produce is all done by hand. Our supply is little, and just enough to use for ourselves.
Some side notes:
1. Chemical and/or other cheap processing methods is not something we even remotely consider. Our sole focus is to introduce the best quality zisha made by some of best artists in the industry to those who unfortunately do not have the means (and circle) to acquire such pieces. In fact, our high-end pieces otherwise wouldn’t be available anywhere outside of our circle, let alone outside of China.
We also understand that not everybody can afford or justify paying $1500 for teapots (this is a phenomena we’ve observe mostly in the West), so, per our clients’ requests, we’ve recently began to introduce more affordable options to our collection. Though these pieces may not be made of “top quality” zisha and molded by master hands, they are still made of pure and authentic zisha and are made by craftsmen who care about preserving the spirit of zisha. This, in and of itself, far surpasses the teapots currently being sold en masse by merchants who are solely in it for profit.
2. When it comes to modern teapots, what primarily dictates the price and value of a piece is not the clay, but the craftsmanship, innovation, and reputation of the artist. Clay only comprises 25% of the value. What makes zisha so special is beyond just being a simple teaware made of clay that happens to compliment tea well (and I think most people here can agree with this statement). Yixing zisha teapots is an art, and it represents the Chinese’s rich history and culture. Pieces that present these traits well will indisputably be costly.