Yixing Teapot Artist: Wu Hong Cai
Wu Hong Cai, is a down to earth Yixing teapot artist, who started his career during the 70s in a clay workshop. During the first years of his careers he focused on improving the basics of Yixing including the skill to carefully process raw clay as well as improving his skill to mould them into beautiful objects.
During our conversation with him he shared, how much clay he's wasted during the process. He ended up with lots of useless teapots, and those that had minor imperfections where sold for cheap on online platforms. "During the beginning of my career, the workshop owner supplied lower quality clay. it allowed me to solidify my skills without too much financial risk to my employer. Their was skill a lot of pressure to perform, but I truly enjoyed the process," says Wu.
When Wu obtained a certificate as a professional Yixing maker, he soon started for himself. "When working for an owner, there's less room for creativity. Yes, I may offer my suggestions, but often people tend to stay safe. By starting his own workshop, I enjoy the fact that I can fully make my own creations," says Wu.
Given all the other artists we've spoken to, Wu is one that belongs to the first few generations of Yixing makers. He aims on making teapots that are excellent from a functional perspective, yet with a beautiful appearance.
In a world where machines are taking over, he insists on making his teapots the traditional way. It's his way of honoring his teachers who taught him not just to make teapots, but also a way of life.
Several of mr. Wu's artworks can be found in our Yixing teaware category.