In this day and age, when most things are massively produced in factories, it is refreshing to find a boutique-shop in Beijing that sells hand-made ceramic wares. As you walk in, the smell of fresh eucalyptus braches standing in a rustic vase, and the calm, Mongolian folk music playing in the background immediately transport your mind to a peaceful place.
Located in the heart of Sanlitun, one of the trendiest areas of Beijing, Phoenix Design has a wide selection of green-white fine porcelain, rustic mugs in all shapes and sizes; dainty milk jugs and warm-brown ginger jars. You will also find modern, contemporary, white and blue tiles, as well as Zen-minimalist rectangular pieces to serve petit fours or simply to display on your mantelpiece.
The room is elegant and simple: white walls, unassuming furniture, shelves and cabinets that don’t take your attention away from the ceramic pieces.
I asked Cui Rui, the owner, why she decided to open a porcelain and ceramics shop in Beijing, her home town. Ever since she was little, Cui Rui has been collecting design ideas in her mind and she decided to focus on ceramics because she believes that things should not only to be beautiful, but also to have a functional purpose. Cui Rui regularly visits a workshop in Jingdezhen, China’s porcelain capital, where she learns ceramic and porcelain techniques with a master and other apprentices. In Jingdezhen she designs porcelain pieces; chooses the material, shape and colour and then she brings them back to Beijing to be sold at Phoenix Design. But not all the pieces at the boutique-shop are her own creation, some have been made by other potters. This enables Phoenix to display a variety of styles to suit all tastes: from rustic country to Japanese minimalist and fine Imperial.
Interested in visiting this store+ other high-end in Beijing? Get in touch with WildChina at firstname.lastname@example.org for other suggestions. To visit Phoenix Design, see below.
This post was written by WildChina’s Chelin Miller.