limbo wrote:I emailed the owners of TeaTrekker and they replied with helpful email:
"Thank you for your email.
I think that our gaiwans are quite special. They are thin-bodied and quite
elegant. They are porcelain bordering on bone china ( a thinner and more
translucent clay body ) and pretty white - not as white as some that I have
seen but a lovely natural white( if this description helps ).
Many white-white gaiwans that I have handled are made from thicker clay and
are clunky. Most gaiwans that are made to be hand-decorated or painted are
thicker and less elegant; these are made to be lovely just as they are."
Maybe we should change the topic: "Gaiwan experiences and opinions"
Thank you for this information, Limbo.
I think we have a case of a purveyor of Teaware who is understandably proud of their product and is promoting it from that position. I'd probably do the same! There is not a doubt in my mind that those TeaTrekker gaiwans are gorgeous. They do indeed look lovely in the photos.
However, bright white is bright white. There's no way around it. Very thin, bright white porcelain is not only possible, it's eminently usable. We have all seen what TTG gaiwans look and feel like. The whitest I've ever seen (not "bone" white, not "ivory" white, not creamy, not "natural white" - whatever that means - but *actual* white) and the lightest I've ever handled. And I'm sure others here can attest to the same. Now, a lot of white gaiwans may be "typically" clunky for whatever reason, but they don't need to be, as we've seen.
In any case, I'm speaking from my own perspective, as someone who at this point has very specific tastes when it comes to this particular type of teaware, so I'd be lying if I said I was unbiased. I haven't had the pleasure of handling hundreds of gaiwans, but I know what's possible with porcelain. The *real* question here is this: do merchants and artisans care enough about thinness and colour (that is, whiteness), and do they care enough about the particular segment of the market that is interested in these things?