Will ceramic craftsmen who love drinking tea make better tea sets?

Wenzhuo Liu

Although Marcel Karcher has seven years of professional experience as a business consultant and financial analyst, because he likes drinking tea, he once had the idea of making tea trade. Finally, he found a more suitable one to make ceramic tea sets, and began to sell his works three years ago. Ordinary people are not particularly picky about the ceramics used to make tableware, but the tea people are different. They brew different kinds of tea and use tea sets with different materials and functions, which have relatively fine requirements for ceramic craftsmen. Marcel felt that Western ceramic artists did not pay attention to the later trimming of the ceramic body after throwing the body, while he liked to make thin body and trim to very details.

Some European ceramic artists will imitate to make Japanese and Chinese tea sets. It is early and well-known that Czech craftsmen make such tea sets. Now more and more European craftsmen begin to pay attention to making tea sets. Compared with the traditional coarse pottery large-scale utensils in Europe, Marcel’s works pursue detail, study different clay, and strive to make pottery like porcelain but not porcelain. Renting a ceramic studio two days a week, he can make 20-30 works a month. For the time being, he didn’t take orders to produce as required. He made his favorite tea sets at his own pace, did more glaze experiments and tried more clay, practiced making more style teapots, etc. Marcel very much hopes to have his own studio and work exhibition room in the future, but the rent and price in Munich are very high. At this stage, it is more realistic to cooperate with some teahouses, tea shops and cafes to use or display his ceramic works, and he will also make some coffee cups and tableware. In the future, he may also try to develop art and decorations, and build a wood kiln by himself.

Marcel’s forming ties with tea began more than a decade ago. His family did trade with China and often received tea gifts. At that time, Marcel felt that Taiping Houkui tea was very special. His curiosity about Chinese tea drove him to find out where Germany could buy this kind of tea. He bought tea online to share with his friends, and gradually began to enter in the tea circle, enjoying tea tasting very much. Because he felt that he couldn’t buy good tea in Germany, after graduating from University, he also tried to buy tea online with tea friends, import tea directly from China and Japan, and then distribute it in his online store. Because of the heavy workload, he couldn’t do it at last, but this attempt made him know more about the tea industry.

Before the epidemic, Marcel visited many famous tea producing areas and ceramic producing areas in China, Japan, India and Thailand, as well as historical ceramic towns in China, such as Jingdezhen, Yixing, Chaozhou, Jianshui, etc. he was very shocked by the development of China’s ceramic industry on such a large scale, large museums and countless factories, workshops, shops, etc. like China’s wide variety of tea, the variety of Chinese tea sets is also many and complete, and industrialization and artistry are not lacking. He learned that it also has a lot to do with the government’s support for industrial development. Modern and traditional tea set design concepts collide with sparks, in which he not only obtains knowledge and creative inspiration. Talking with me about tea and tea sets in China, he is also familiar with tea sets in the history of Chinese ceramics, as if enumerating his family valuables. During his tours, Marcel not only collected a lot of tea sets, but also made friends with many ceramic artists. He had the idea to do tea set exhibitions in Germany to show the works of these craftsmen. Now he has finalized two candidates, and will gradually develop and expand in the future, inviting more artists to show their works. Tea culture began to prevail in online social media. Four years ago, Marcel began to share his tea reviews and tea sets made by himself on online social platforms. With less than 900 posts, Marcel had 23000 fans. He felt that these platforms could well promote tea culture in Europe and the world.


Related article has been published in Wenzhuo‘s column Tea Perspectives of September 2022 <Tea Times 茶博览> monthly tea magazine in Chinese, 观茶者专栏-德国手艺人马尔塞:努力做像瓷而不是瓷的陶器”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *