Xu Ge: Fashionable purple clay craftswoman

Xu Ge is a post-80s purple clay craftswoman and inheritor of intangible cultural heritage. Some friends found it difficult to connect her stylish appearance with quaint and mellow purple clay when they first met her.

For Xu, pursuing trends and fashion is a privilege for the young that doesn't conflict with making traditional purple clay teapots. "To the contrary, it inspires me greatly. By living and thinking in the way that I like, I can better immerse myself in creation," she said.

From hand kneading to molding, a purple clay teapot goes through dozens of complicated and time-consuming processes. Although much effort is poured into each teapot, the yield is low.

When Xu got married, her father gave her eight purple clay teapots for dowry. They were masterpieces that he had devoted his entire life to creating for just such a moment.

"My parents never asked me to become a potter, but what they were doing exerted a subtle influence on me," she said. "Being an inheritor is more of an instinct and a matter of course than a responsibility.

"The process of making teapots might seem boring for some, but for me, it's fascinating. I treat every piece as my child and give it new life."

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