Flowering Tea Pot-pourri

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AI-EQUAL have turned there delightful flowering teas into Pot-pourri. Whilst the flowering teas in themselves are visually attractive  when swaying in the bottom of your tea cup, and let you enjoy various health and well-being benefits, the joys do not stop there. The flowers in full bloom have been removed and dried to produce wonderful dried flowers. Collect and display, spritz with indoor fragrance and there you have your very own home-made pot-pourri basket.

Flowering tea, the benefits are endless. Enjoy.

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Afternoon Tea at AI-EQUAL

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Chinese tea is steeped in history and culture, as well as a being cultural reflection deeply etched in the blood of the nation. A traditional Chinese food culture, the peaceful scent of tea brings serenity, as well as being rich in antioxidants and holding numerous well-being properties. Chinese tea has thus become a beverage for health care today.

The flower tea has a history of more than 1000 years, which began from the Southern Song Dynasty.  The first processing centre was in Fuzhou and from the 12th Century the scenting of flower tea extended to Suzhou and Hangzhou. The Tea Manual written in the Ming Dynasty recorded in detail the flower species for scenting flower tea, and the methods for producing tea. Arabian jasmine, rosa rugose, rosa multiflora, vanilla planifolia, dendranthema morifolium, gardenia jasminoides, rosa banksiae and prunus mume can all be used for producing tea.

The best feature of this tea is the wonderful visual experience of watching various flowers blooming in water, while tasting the fragrance of tea; a mixed enjoyment of taste and sight. After absorbing water, the dried flowers sway elegantly and gracefully in the cup. The whole process of brewing is highly dynamic and stress relieving.

Flowering teas further possess good medicinal and health caring effects. They have the effect of refreshing, detoxifying and hydrating and improving eyesight. The tea is a pure beverage, designed for those people who enjoy the spirit of tea, as well as a healthy lifestyle, well-being, fashion and skin care. The effortless and easy procedure has seen it grow in popularity for those who enjoy this idyllic scene.

A Delightful Rose On Eggshell

As mentioned AI_EQUAL are in China collaborating with Artists and Masters of Eggshell Porcelain. Our recent inspiration is the red rose, which will be painted free hand onto the outside of the Porcelain bowl before the final firing process.

The final design has not been completed, but have a browse of our inspiration and tell us what you think?

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Haschimegs’ Embroidery

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Haschimeg is a Mongolian female born in April, 1983. She is now pursuing her Masters degree in the Graduate School of Chinese National Academy of Arts, after graduating from Beijing University with a Bachelor of Law. Haschimeg has been engaged in the study and research of Wuhan Embroidery since May 2007 and enrolled as a member of the China National Arts and Crafts Society and China Association of Collectors. Her works The Spirit of a Dragon Horse and Concentrated Attention won the gold and bronze awards respectively of Hundred Flowers Awards for Chinese Arts and Crafts in 2013. The Duplex Table Skirt with Wuhan Embroidery won the silver award of Hundred Flowers Awards for Chinese Arts and Crafts in 2014.

Scroll through our gallery, or contact us for more breathtaking pieces.

AI-EQUAL at Lancaster House- Philharmonia Orchestra 70th Anniversary Gala

159A6426AI-EQUAL’s Invitation to Philharmonia Orchestra 70th Anniversary Gala at Lancaster House.

A Gala Evening took place at Lancaster House on Thursday 26 March 2015 to support the Philharmonia Orchestra’s forthcoming 70th Anniversary Season. The evening featured a performance from acclaimed young pianist Martin Helmchen and a live and silent auction hosted by Adrien Biddel from Sotheby’s.

The evening took place in the historic surroundings of the Lancaster House, a Neo-Classical Mansion in the vicinity of St James’s Palace. Lancaster House which has always been a hub of social, political and diplomatic life and continues to host numerous Heads of State and Government Officials each year. This was a rare opportunity for guests to visit this remarkable building, which is not open to the public. Guests were welcomed with a Champagne Reception, kindly hosted and supported by Krug, in the stunning Music Room, where Chopin during his time in the UK performed a private recital for Queen Victoria in 1848. The evening continued with a performance by Martin Helmchen in the Long Gallery followed by a seated dinner and silent and live auction.

AI-EQUAL were supporters of this prestigious event, and offered a rare and unique piece from there Eggshell Porcelain Collection towards the auction.

The evening raised over £30,000 and the funds will go towards supporting the Philharmonia’s education work both in London and nationwide. This support will ensure that the Orchestra can continue to reach the widest possible audience through its education and regional residency programme.

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Eggshell Inspiration

AI-EQUAL are in the process of designing, making and expanding the current collection of Eggshell Porcelain.  Aiming to carry forward traditional Chinese culture, into artworks, on the premise of protecting the interests of traditional Chinese handicraftsmen, innovation and elegance remain our key criteria.

Here is today’s inspiration:

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“as white as snow and as thin as eggshell, seeming to float in the air when blown.” Tao Ya

White Eggshell Porcelain bowl
White Eggshell Porcelain bowl

Eggshell Porcelain

Eggshell porcelain, also known as ‘bodiless porcelain’ or ‘eggshell china’ is unique in the world. As a special handicraft product among the traditional porcelain handicrafts in Jingdezhen, it exceeds a long-standing reputation around the world.  Dating from the Northern Song Dynasty (906-1127), prospering in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1912), and popular in this current era, it has a history spanning over a thousand years.

The so-called ‘bodiless’ is to imply that the porcelain is so thin that only two layers of glaze, on the inside and outside can be seen, while the base does not seem to exist.  As it looks so thin like the eggshell, the strokes and colour on the front can be seen from the backside under the sunlight or lamp light; thus named ‘eggshell porcelain’.

There was a famous handicraftsman in porcelain making named Hao Shijiu. He called himself ‘Old Man Huyin’, during the period of Lonqing and Wanli (1567-1620) of the Ming Dynasty.  His invention of eggshell porcelain cups was unique at that time, each cup only weighing about 0.65grams.  It is due to Hao Shijiu’s unique practice that the eggshell technique became separated from general techniques and rather, a specialised artisanship. Hence becoming one of the most traditionally renowned artistic porcelain making techniques of Jingdezhen.

In the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), despite frequent wars and upheavals, the unique skill of eggshell porcelain was passed down from one generation to another, to be inherited and carried forward. After the founding of the PRC, the thickness, transparency and whiteness of many products have achieved and exceeded all time heights. This perfection of the great art saw the tradition permeate generation upon generation, where eggshell porcelains continue to carry their honour and value to the present day.