GUIDE TO YIXING TEAPOTS
Additional Information and History
This section will be periodically added to with little bits of information surrounding the Yixing ZiSha industry. Once suitable information is garnered on a subject, it will be moved to it's own page!
The History of Yixing Factory One
Factory one was started in April of 1958 as a government backed merger between the existing. Shushan Ceramics Production Cooperation (蜀山陶业生产 合作社), the Yixing Hexin Ceramics factory (宜兴合新陶瓷厂与上 袁) and 28 independent, Yixing based, pottery practicing families. Gu JingZhou was the lead research head of the factory. The government poured money into this initiative to promote economic and cultural growth after the war of resistance against Japanese aggression left China in a depression. The factory opened with 2067 workers including 299 apprentices.
Yixing Artisan Ranking System
There are five government entities which can award rank to potters in china. Four of them grant honorary titles of esteem to potters or individual works. While one is a skill ranking and testing association.
Jiangsu Arts and Crafts Industry Association (江苏省工艺美术行业协会)
This association bestows an honorary award to artists located in Jiangsu Province for exceptional works. It is determined based on voting.
China National Light Industry Council (中国轻工业联合会)
This council bestows an honorary award to artists on a national level for exceptional works in industry. It is determined based on voting.
China Ceramic Industry Association (中国陶瓷工业协会)
This association bestows an honorary award to artists on a national level for exceptional works in the field of ceramics which has been extended to Yixing. It is determined based on voting.
China Arts and Crafts Association (中国工艺美术协会)
This association bestows recognition for historical achievements in the field of Chinese arts. It is determined based on voting.
Wuxi Human Resources and Social Security Bureau
This bureau is responsible for registering, ranking and testing Yixing Artists. There are five ranks that each have internal levels. To ascend in level and rank you are observed while hand-making making a teapot over a period of days. Your work is inspected both while making it and after firing, then checked against a list of criteria.
The ranks in ascending order of achievement are:
Arts and Craft Member: 工艺美术员
Junior High School education or above, 7+ years of Zisha pottery work experience, able to make a fully hand made Zisha teapot at least in one style.
Assistant Arts and Craft Master: 助理工艺美术师
High School education or above, 15+ years of pottery work experience, able to make fully hand made Zisha teapots in any style, have more than 2 provincial gold medals or at least 1 national gold medal.
Arts and Craft Master: 工艺美术师
Bachelor degree or above, 20+ years of pottery work experience, have more than 3 national gold medals, published 2 papers in the subject of pottery, able to create creative, unique, new designs of teapots
Senior Arts and Craft Master: 高级工艺美术师
Bachelor degree or above, 25+ years of pottery work experience, knowledge of university level technological pottery art theory , frequently takes part in national arts and crafts events, his/her creative, unique designs should’ve won at least 2 national gold medals, have at least 5 national gold medals and at least 1 international gold medal, published several papers in the subject of Creative Designs, Material Selection, Production, Firing technologies etc.
Research Level Senior Arts and Craft Master: 研究员级高级工艺美术师
Master degree or above, 30+ years of pottery work experience, able to make highly difficult and complex artworks, have more than 3 international gold medals and more than 5 national gold medals.