Callixto: Ginger Jars
Callixto is all about handicrafts and artisans and ever since I moved to Hong Kong I have been trying to find artisans based here in Hong Kong. Five years later, I am almost there. At the beginning of the year I found out about a workshop that still hand-paints blue and white porcelain here in Hong Kong! I was ecstatic. I went to visit the workshop, spoke to the owner, met the painters and it looked like we were all set to design our own range of ginger jars and for the painters to paint them! We took some time to finalise the design but finally they were ready and we thought we were ready to go! It turns out it is not that simple. Although we stuck to classic motifs in our design they were of course much more contemporary than what is normally found on ginger jars and the painters could not paint our design as it would involve free hand painting. This it turns out was a problem. The painters could only paint the very classic motifs in classic sizing and arrangement. Free hand drawing was somehow not possible. The owner of the workshop very kindly said he would need to look for somebody who could free hand draw.. and that is where we are at. So watch this space for further developments. I always thought that if you could draw you could draw anything. Apparently not.
So while trying to figure out what to do next I walked around the workshop and asked loads of questions on the different painting techniques that I saw in the different jars on display. Everything I saw and loved was hand painted in either Japan in the 70s or China in the 80s. When I asked our host if he could find me artisans to paint in that style he sadly said no, those kind of artisans where not being trained anymore and unless we found somebody essentially ancient and willing to come out of retirement the chances were slim to non. Upon hearing that I obviously had to acquire everything he had of that period. Below are the pictures of the ones that I am willing to sell at Callixto. The last of their kind really. I am not even really sure if I will be able to part with them at all, but currently they are for sale.