Zuziazjiao (Shanghai County)... a dream of a town...

and it remained a dream...


On the right one of the houses we came to view. It was in a bad state but so big, it had all the potential to become a super workplace. I would have loved to get my hands dirty and make the place my own.


Houses like this, have a front-house, a middle house and a back house, divided by (in this case) small gardens. Space enough to have a gallery, a place to stay and a place to work.

Plans were to hire a few Chinese workers and an English-speaking secretary/gallery attendant so the place could grow into something that would benefit the community.

Zuziazjiao is a well known tourst town, close to Shanghai.




front of one of the 'houses' we went to see. Huge!


opening the front door of a big family house. (imagine the forbidden city in Bejing, take 10% of this and you have a good idea of the huge size of the dwellings behind that humble facade)

A Chinese friend of mine (at the time) offered me a good place in Zuziajiao to rent and set up a studio there. I was interested. Very interested...

This was the 'last chance' for me to start a new adventure. About 53 years old, I now had the energy to do this, well knowing that you do not start at the age of 60 or 65. (at least, I do not)


We did go back to Shanghai to look at places, see the possibillities, think, and negotiate.

There is the issue with foreigners who are only allowed to stay in China for 3 months in a row. A 'bit of a hassle' and not very practical.
I realized that twice yearly, I would have to travel to China and back to Amsterdam.
How long would I find that fun and would all this obliged travel not destroy my creativity? After all, my savings and more would have been invested in this adventure. Would/could I remain unstressed and (like now) not care about success and money? Serious questions, but I was willing to take the challenge...


Sadly our ideas and goals for this adventure were too far apart from those of our Chinese hosts.

I withdrew.


the roofs of the 'workshop-to-be'... stunning

A great thing was that my friends took Jos & me to Yixing where we visited some of our more well-known colleagues, had dinner with them, were welcomed in their workspaces and generally had a very good time there.

Highight was meeting up with Guh Wei Fen again. It had been 10 years that we worked together.



Visiting Guh Wei Fen, the Master-Potter who made my virtual dreams into reality.
She hadn't changed all that much. (wish I could say the same about me...)
Once more I saw the woman that made my famous teapots with such skill. It was heartwarming.





of course we bought a lot of new Yixing teapots for our collection....

(none of these btw...)



yixing museum

the Yixing Teapot Museum



jos in yixing

jeroen in Zuziazjiao

The 'year-of-the-pig Teapot exhibition with 3 of my pig teapots

(see all the pig teapots on this exhibition: at www.jeroenbechtold.nl)

Zuziazjiao pigpot exhibition




dragon kiln

dragon kiln near Yixing


the long flight back home

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