Yixing is one of those places you hear/read about during your studies, and you never think you will ever end up there.
And that is exactly what happened to Jeroen in 1996.

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The First Annual Yixing Symposium for Western Potters, as it was optimistically named, invited 19 potters/ceramists from the USA, Australia and Europe. Jeroen was one of them.

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all the yixing teapots

all the teapots Jeroen made with the Yixing TeapotMasters

Jeroen Bechtold made a few stunning teapots, together with (a.o.) Guh Wei Fen during that symposium.

Jeroen had imagined a small variety, using CAD/CAM (1995!) and the pictures of these renderings were printed in Purple Sands Magazine, prior to the happening.

Five Chinese Masters made these visualisations into reality, using the pictures and drawings/discussions on the spot.

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I was so extremely lucky to have been part of this extraordinary event.

It was amazing, even more so with hindsight.
Quite an adventure too, first time in China, that huge country where a 'village' houses a thousand people or more, a city millions...

Places with a history you are ignorant of, but here you are in a culture that is thousands of years old.

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This symposium was shortly after China opened up to the rest of the world.

We were the first ones that were allowed to work with this clay, in one of the 'factories': Purple Sands Factory No.5 to be more precise.
We heard (later) from a close friend, that she went there a year before us, and she was not even allowed to touch the famous clay (!!)

 

 

All over the world people collect Yixing teapots.

Each teapot is an individual piece of art, still made with the skill and artistry from ages and fitting in the palm of a hand.

Beautiful new shapes emerge and the old ones are reproduced and reproduced, many with good craftsmanship, some even with extremely good craftsmanship.


Finding that gem is the goal for any collector.

Prices one has to pay may vary from a few Euros to thousands. Gems can be found in all price-ranges...