Higher-end gaiwans


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Drax » Dec 19th, '12, 16:01

So Alex recently mentioned something about higher-end gaiwans in another thread, and it made me realize that I don't know much about the different costs of gaiwans (we certainly talk a lot about yixing pots, though! :lol: )

What exactly makes for a higher quality and more expensive gaiwan? I can guess that hand-painting adds to it (and certainly the complexity and skill of the painting).

I also imagine the quality of the material -- but how do you tell these sorts of things with a gaiwan?

And, for the adventurous, what are the typical price ranges? I know they can vary a lot -- I noticed some $300+ gaiwans that I probably would not have thought to pay that much...!
User avatar
Drax
 
Posts: 2556
Joined: Oct 16th, '
Location: Arlington, VA

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby GreenwoodStudio » Dec 19th, '12, 16:34

Great topic! I look forward to responses :)
User avatar
GreenwoodStudio
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Dec 29th, '
Location: Cazenovia, NY

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby debunix » Dec 19th, '12, 16:56

I've mostly seen price variations that appear related to how much of the gaiwan is handmade--thrown vs molded, painted or simple glaze, and not a lot of emphasis on the type of clay unless the gaiwan is unglazed, which is rare (more common with those that are more shiboridashi-like).
User avatar
debunix
 
Posts: 5021
Joined: Jan 10th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Hannah » Dec 19th, '12, 18:17

I'm still a huge newbie with teaware (always more to learn!).. but here are my opinions :)

I've been in search of 'high-end' gaiwans for a while, and so far I've found that my preference seems to be hand painted gaiwans from Jingdezhen, which from my understanding, the majority advertised as being such are still mass-produced, but are often still more pleasant to use than some handmade ones.. Does that make sense?

I've got a few hand-made gaiwans that are lovely but seem thicker and a little clumsy to use compared to the lovely thin porcelain of a molded gaiwan, then again, a lot of people would prefer this!

My favourite type of gaiwan so far is the beautiful one I got from MTR, but apparently no news on new stock for those :( I want to buy another.. I've got some ones which have cost me more, but the MTR one has been a solid favourite!

Edit: Ok so that was mostly rambling about stuff I like as opposed to anything helpful lol sorry!!
User avatar
Hannah
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Aug 31st, '
Location: NSW, Australia

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby wyardley » Dec 19th, '12, 19:01

I think the quality of the porcelain (lack of flaws, feeling in the hand, thickness or thinness) is important, as well as the design being both aesthetically and ergonomically pleasant. Hand painted (or semi-hand painted) designs could add some value. That said, I would be unlikely to pay more than $30-50 for a modern gaiwan in most cases.

Antiques, of course, are another story completely. Functionality and lack of minor flaws becomes less important, and shape and design become more important.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1926
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Chip » Dec 19th, '12, 22:20

... PLEASE ... do not get me started on gaiwans! :twisted:

Like wyardley, I am not likely to pay more than 25-50 USD for a modern finely made gaiwan made of pretty good porcelain and finely glazed. Subject to change w/o warning or notice.

For now ... for me, they are simply functional, practical, cost effective, efficient, and very effective brewing vessels.

A poll would be interesting for this topic as to what is "high end" at this point in time for members.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22110
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby jayinhk » Dec 19th, '12, 22:26

I've seen a gaiwan go for $120 and another for a little over $1,200. The one for $120 was very thin porcelain and had images in the porcelain only visible when it was held up in the light. The one for $1,200+ was handpainted by a master and the work was incredible, but the price bowled me over.

The gaiwans I use most cost $5. :)

From a practicality point of view, buying an expensive gaiwan doesn't make much sense. I'd rather put that money toward a new Yixing at this stage, although when I first started drinking tea a fancy gaiwan was very appealing.
Last edited by jayinhk on Dec 19th, '12, 22:43, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 898
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby AdamMY » Dec 19th, '12, 22:37

I do not want to steal MarshalN's thunder before he gets a chance to say this. But he has said over and over again, expensive gaiwans are mostly a waste of money, because they all break eventually. You should seek to buy good quality gaiwans that are affordable for you based on your situation.

I have to say I see his point, the best gaiwans I have seen that are easiest to deal with are all porcelain, and as such get very slippery when wet, and they all have no real handle to grip, as such the more you use it the law of large numbers says the higher probability of a drop. I hate to say this some of my most used gaiwans have been dropped 2 or 3 times, I just have been lucky enough that they are often from a low height onto a soft surface, and I haven't had to resurrect the broken teaware thread.
User avatar
AdamMY
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: Jul 22nd, '
Location: Capital of the Mitten

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby wyardley » Dec 19th, '12, 22:43

I think you get a lot of milage from a $30 gaiwan over a $5 one -- there is a point where bad quality makes it less functional. But markups vary, so a $30 vendor from one vendor may be someone else's $5 gaiwan.

It's also a very personal thing. I would just buy ones you like as you come across them, and eventually, it will be clear to you which ones are comfortable for you to use.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1926
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Tead Off » Dec 19th, '12, 23:34

wyardley wrote:I think you get a lot of milage from a $30 gaiwan over a $5 one -- there is a point where bad quality makes it less functional. But markups vary, so a $30 vendor from one vendor may be someone else's $5 gaiwan.

It's also a very personal thing. I would just buy ones you like as you come across them, and eventually, it will be clear to you which ones are comfortable for you to use.

My $6 gaiwan gets a lot of use because of its size, 60ml. It's quite well made and the form is good for me. Mass produced, thin porcelain, decaled Chinese characters on one side that are glazed over and don't come off. Bought in Hong Kong about 4 years ago. Easily found in many tea shops. A lot can be determined just by handling it. For those needing mail order to find a gaiwan, it could be hit or miss as to how they actually feel in your hand and operate.
User avatar
Tead Off
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 3401
Joined: Apr 1st, '0
Location: Bangkok

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby jayinhk » Dec 19th, '12, 23:38

Tead Off wrote:
wyardley wrote:I think you get a lot of milage from a $30 gaiwan over a $5 one -- there is a point where bad quality makes it less functional. But markups vary, so a $30 vendor from one vendor may be someone else's $5 gaiwan.

It's also a very personal thing. I would just buy ones you like as you come across them, and eventually, it will be clear to you which ones are comfortable for you to use.

My $6 gaiwan gets a lot of use because of its size, 60ml. It's quite well made and the form is good for me. Mass produced, thin porcelain, decaled Chinese characters on one side that are glazed over and don't come off. Bought in Hong Kong about 4 years ago. Easily found in many tea shops. A lot can be determined just by handling it. For those needing mail order to find a gaiwan, it could be hit or miss as to how they actually feel in your hand and operate.


Agreed, I buy my gaiwans from a stall up the street from my office here in HK and I've been very happy with the price/quality ratio. He has new stuff in all the time as well, so I usually do a walkby at least once a week.
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 898
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby Tead Off » Dec 19th, '12, 23:42

I bought that gaiwan on Hollywood Road near the Man Mo temple in one of the tea shops.
User avatar
Tead Off
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 3401
Joined: Apr 1st, '0
Location: Bangkok

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby jayinhk » Dec 20th, '12, 01:02

I always thought those stores would be overpriced! I'm about 7 mins away by foot :)
User avatar
jayinhk
 
Posts: 898
Joined: Aug 28th, '

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby debunix » Dec 20th, '12, 01:04

My $2.99-$4.99 gaiwans have been just as easy to use as my $39.99 gaiwan. The more expensive one is hand painted, but the mass-produced versions are excellent. I also bought a few others in the $2.99-8.99 range that were not worth the cost.
User avatar
debunix
 
Posts: 5021
Joined: Jan 10th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Higher-end gaiwans

Postby tingjunkie » Dec 20th, '12, 02:01

Expensive gaiwans have much to do with the quality of the handpainting and the name attached to it.

Great gaiwans have more to do with thinness of the porcelain, the curvature and angle the rim flares out, and the way the lid fits and slides. I'm very amazed at how hard it is to find great functional gaiwans. :?
User avatar
tingjunkie
 
Posts: 1429
Joined: Jul 8th, '0
Location: NYC

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation