Handmade Jianyang Jianzhan Tea Cup - Bodhi Leaf

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Handmade Jianyang Jianzhan Tea Cup - Bodhi Leaf
90% of 100

Jianyang, Fujian Province, China


Original clay in Jianyang, raw glaze ore and other natural substances


Transmutation in kiln (Firing in 1300℃ high temperature)






3.3” W x 1.9” H (8.5cm x 4.9cm)

Net Weight:



Due to the transmutation in kiln, the pattern on each Jianzhan tea cup will be slightly different.

Therefore, every Jian zhan is unique and special, but it will be remained generally the same.

Angel's Comment:

Like a natural tea leaf floating in the black tea liquor, vivid and graceful.

This style of Jianzhan is famous for the interior leaf, as elegant and natural as if it were still living. According to legend, when an artist was firing a piece of Jianzhan pottery in ancient times, he placed his piece into the kiln without realizing a leaf had fallen into it - and when he retrieve the finished piece afterwards, he was surprised to find the magical scene presented here with the leaf perfectly integrated and preserved within the glaze. Since then, this type of Jianzhan craft has been maintained and passed down.


This cup prominently features a Bodhi leaf, clearly veined, in the surface of the glaze. Through the high-temperature firing process the leaf is not only preserved instead of being burned to ash, but also displays its veins and lines quite clearly against the black bowl of the cup. When the cup is filled with tea the leaf almost appears to float inside.

Jianzhan with tea liquid

Note that each and every leaf featured in these cups are natural and hand-picked, and as such differ greatly in shape and type.

Jianzhan with tea leaf

Jianzhan, or Jian ware, represents the pinnacle of ancient Chinese black porcelain, and is an art of pottery that combines earth with fire. Using clay and glaze rich in iron content from Jianyang as its raw material, it has to undergo about thirteen separate Chinese traditional handicrafts until completion, such as the selection of the porcelain and setting of the model. The gorgeous patterns are naturally produced in a kiln at temperatures of 1300C; because of this, each cup takes on a unique and one-of-a-kind design, adding to the distinctive charm of the ware.

Making Jianzhan

Jianzhan is characterized by the saying “one color in, a riot of colors out” - each Jianzhan piece adopts the same type of glaze, but due to the different conditions of firing method, indoor temperature, personal style, and other factors, the final cups are each distinct and unique in their patterns and glaze colors. Just as there are no two identical leaves in the world, are there also no two identical Jianzhan pieces; they are similar in a general sense rather than a precise sense.

Bodhi leaf Jianzhan

With this particular cup the Bodhi leaf is fully integrated into the glaze, with the texture able to be felt in the bottom of the cup.

Jianzhan with clear texture

Since Jianzhan wares are made with clay of a high iron content, drinking tea out of these cups should improve the flavor as well as soften the taste.

Artist – Yu Li Min

Mr. Yu is a senior artist of Jingyang Jianzhan who has studied in the area for several years. He insists on using ancient soil and the original, traditional ore glaze for his materials, in attempts to fully revive and maintain the Song Dynasty porcelain legend. Along with keeping up traditional techniques alongside continuing his own personal innovation, his quaint, characteristic style is highly sought after by Jianzhan enthusiasts.

Jian Zhan Maker

Characteristics of Jian zhan

It is heavy, feeling dense and thick when held; the large mouth of the cup makes it convenient and easy to watch the tea soup; the original glazed color of the material is black, bringing out the color of the tea; and when using Jianzhan for the first time, there is no need to “season” the material like with Zisha teapots. The ashy, earthy smell of the kiln can be cleaned off with fresh, warm water, and then after a boiling rinse of a few minutes, the cup is ready to use.


Jianzhan is a well-known Chinese porcelain of the Han nationality. It is one of the eight famous porcelain types of the Song dynasty, tracing back further than a thousand years; it takes its name from its origin of Jian An county during that time. Scholars and tea drinkers during the time period strongly advocated the comparison of different tea types, and as such required tea sets of a high quality along with the tea itself. Jianzhan has dense, tight pores conducive to the retention of heat, making it appropriate for this use.

In 2011, the workmanship of Jianzhan crafting was included on the list of national intangible cultural heritage.

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