Jian Shui Red Wave

Mirka Randova

Wood oven-fired jian shui (water collection cup) for tea ceremonies. Handmade by the respected ceramic master Mirka Randova. The fascinating red and violet colouring as well as the metallic sheen of this unique piece bring elegant interest to any tea ceremony.
  • Aesthetic interest for any tea ceremony
  • Spectacular colouring as a result of reduction firing at 1350°C in a wood-fired oven
  • Iron-rich clay with metallic sheen
  • Large volume: suitable for tea ceremonies with large groups
  • Each piece is unique
  • Completely handmade by ceramic master Mirka Randova


Diameter: 16cm


Delivery : 1–3 business days

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Miroslava (Mirka) Randova is a highly respected ceramic artist from Czechia who has dedicated her craft to the production of fine tea accessories. She has specialised in the crafting of ceramics and porcelain. She is a master in different firing and glazing techniques, which she uses to best accentuate the character of her individual pieces. Her works have been exhibited at important shows and festivals across the world.


To produce the jian shui, Mirka uses iron-rich clay that must be hand-prepared with water and other substances as a slip (clay slurry) and then kneaded. As a result of this process, the working clay is an especially supple, homogenous mass that can be shaped into individual designs.

Once shaped, the clay is fired to solidify it. In the second stage, the jian shui is reduction-fired in a wood-burning oven. For this method, the oven is first heated for up to 12 hours to a temperature of 1,350°C before charcoal is added under a sealed atmosphere. The charcoal causes a special smoke effect that creates the captivating, aurora-like red colouring on the cup.


Instructions for the Chinese Gong Fu Cha (工夫茶) Tea Ceremony

According to tradition, the Chinese tea ceremony is about making tea in the best possible way. This philosophy is reflected in the term "gong fu cha" itself, which can be roughly translated as "making tea with skill". One of the many aspects of this special form of tea preparation is minimising as much as possible the heat loss between heated water and the resulting tea. The main method of retaining heat is the repeated dousing of cup and teapot with hot water.

To collect the abundant water used in the ceremony, the so-called tea boat was invented. The tea boat is a tray and underside riddled with grooves that allows the collection of excess water. A more original version of the tea ceremony uses a deep saucer and jian shui (茶船) instead of the tea boat. The saucer catches the water used, which is then emptied into the larger collecting vessel of the jian shui.

To prepare the tea, we recommend using a small Chinese teapot, ideally a gaiwan or a teapot made from Yixing clay. If preparing tea for multiple guests, a cha hai (decanter) may also be used. While a cha hai is also suitable for use in a solo tea ceremony, the cup used as a cha hai should have a volume of at least 150ml. When using just a single drinking cup for the ceremony, it is also important that this cup has a volume equivalent to or greater than the teapot. It is important that the tea is completely drained from the pot for each infusion so that the drinker can distinctly enjoy the changing flavour of the tea from infusion to infusion.

1. Step: Preparation

The tea boat should be placed on a stable surface such as a table. The teapot (or gaiwan) as well as drinking cup or cha hai are then placed on the tea boat. If using a saucer rather than a tea boat, only place the teapot on the saucer.

2. Step: Ceremonial Cleansing and Pre-Heating

The teapot (including lid) is doused with boiling hot water. Thereafter teapot and drinking cups are half-filled with the hot water. This water should then be poured out into either the teapot or the jian shui. This stage demonstratively cleanses the vessels and simultaneously warms them for the tea.

3. Step: Awakening the Tea

Add tea leaves to the teapot. For a gong fu cha tea ceremony, a generous portion of tea leaves are used and should fill 1/3 or 1/2 of the teapot. For such a large quantity of leaves, it is important to steep the leaves for very short periods many times. When using tea leaves in a compressed shape such as rolled oolong or pu erh, the leaves should be briefly coated with water for just a few seconds before pouring out the water in the tea boat or jian shui. This intermediate step helps to open up the leaves so that the first infusion is more aromatic. "Awakening" the tea may also be appropriate for other kinds of Chinese tea, but more likely for ceremonial purposes than for flavour.

4. Step: Preparing the Tea

The teapot is first doused with hot water and then filled. The drinking cups or cha hai are then filled with hot water, which is then poured into the tea boat or jian shui. The tea may then be poured into the cups or cha hai and enjoyed. This procedure is repeated for each infusion. The steeping time increases each time until the tea begins to lose its flavour. Good quality oolong and pu erh can be used up to 10 times, while aged teas may last even longer.


Rinse with clear, filtered water after use, and leave out to dry.

Product Details

This jian shui was carefully handmade by the renowned ceramic artist Mirka Randova. The rustic charm of this piece combines rawness with a metallic sheen that is created by the iron-rich clay. A special reduction firing method in a wood-burning oven is used to create colours that flow across the surface like an aurora.

The jian shui is an important component of the Chinese tea ceremony (工夫茶, gong fu cha). The cup is both an aesthetic style element as well as a collection vessel for water used during the ceremony. During the Chinese tea ceremony, water is not just used to steep tea, but also for the ceremonial cleansing and warming of the utensils. For more details, see the "Uses" tab.

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