This minimal tea tray is ceramicist Wang Wen De’s first attempt at crafting a piece that captures the spirit of a traditional musical notation system called Gongche notation. Developed during the Tang Dynasty, gongche notation uses characters to represent musical notes. In Wang Wen De’s interpretation, the pattern of holes on the glazed surface of the tray represent characters, which in turn represent musical notes. What appears to be braille is actually a musical composition.
This tray is formed by joining two layers of thin stoneware, leaving a thin hollow area for capturing water overflow. Notation patterns are punched through the top surface of the tray, and that surface is then glazed with snow white shino before firing.
Wang Wen De began work on this series in early 2013, and debut the design a year later. Since its debut, however, his original design has been copied. Though counterfeit trays are shallow representations of the real item, Wang Wen Do stopped producing this series in 2016. We acquired five of the remaining pieces from his studio.
It’s a design we’re familiar with. We have been using this identical tray in our own tasting table since 2015, employing a dry brew” or "gan pao” method of tea making, where very little excess water is used.
*Please take note that each tray can be slightly different in color tone and texture. It is not unusual to have areas of thicker glazing, and or colorations that reflect the different interactions between the mineral content of the clay body and glaze. Each tray is different, and may not be identical to the photographed item.
Approximate dimensions: 358mm width, 185mm depth, 12.5mm thickness・Artist: 王文德
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|Metric quantities||Ounce equivalent||Servings|
|30 grams (new size!)||1.05 oz.||5-8|
|60 grams||2.10 oz.||10-15|
|120 grams||4.20 oz.||20-30|
|240 grams||8.46 oz.||40-60|