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Earth and Fire - Carved Pots

Earth and Fire - Carved Pots

The chop on these two about 80 year old bonsai pots reads „Tching Mei En“.

They are from the pottery city „YIXING“, China.

The body of the pot was made from the popular red Yixing clay. The writing and the pictures were carved with a bamboo knife when the clay body was leatherhard, before the pictures and characters were filled with white engobe.

Afterwards the first pot was covered with red engobe and the second pot with black engobe.

Both pots are outstanding examples of the Chinese potters' great knowledge and skills to master the laws of aesthetic design.

The cloud feet of the red pot harmonise perfectly with the double rounded corners. The overall appearance is soft and feminine.


The black pot is the opposite, its angular shape has a masculine appearance. The feet of the pot are decorated with the thunder symbol and go excellently with the straight lines of the walls.

The knowledge of these details makes a good potter, then and to this day.


Perfect proportions need no changes and useless things fade away.


A beautiful pot decorated with the carving technique.

(Article to be continued as required)

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All these pots are from the collection of Paul Lesniewicz.

Text and photographs: Peter Krebs

Translation: Heike van Gunst