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Ruyao teaware (with or without crackles)

Ruyao teaware

Ruyao teaware is one of the many styles of Chinese teaware. It is also one of the most difficult to make, at a certain level of quality and elegance. In this post, we explain what ruyao exactly is. Further we give you some tips on how to choose a nice ruyao teaware.

Ruyao teaware, what is it?

  • Ruyao (汝窑) literally means “ru kiln”. The style of porcelain is named after the kiln where it was invented and used to be produced. Ru refers to Ruzhou in Henan Province. It is the place where this original kiln was located.
  • Situated near Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty, the ru kiln was a major provider of official porcelain during that time. So much that ruyao  is the representative porcelain style for that period. The range of ruyao porcelain is much broader than just teaware. All kinds of porcelain products can be produced according to the ru kiln techniques and style.
  • Because ruyao is now produced in many different kilns, it is sometimes referred to as “ru ware” or “ru porcelain”.
  • Ru ware belongs to the celadon, or green porcelain family. Its beauty and particularity lies in the pastel like appearance of its glazing. The colour range stretches from light white-green to jade-green.
  • Some pieces of ru ware develop crackles in their glazing, when exposed to heat. Originally these products were considered to be faulty. Over time however, people started to specially look for crackled ru ware. Nowadays, the glazing is often especially made for producing crackles.
  • This is particularly appreciated by tea drinkers, because the heat of the tea water will make the ru teaware develop beautiful patterns. The older the teaware, the more crackles it will have.

How to pick a piece of ru ware?

Here are some tips to use, when choosing a cup or a gaiwan.

  • It should have a smooth appearance, similar to white jade.
  • The glaze should neither feel too shiny, nor too dry.
  • New products should not already have very visible crackles

The picture above shows a nice examples of a new cup, whose colour is more on the white side

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