Naked Clay Dai Gaiwan (素陶傣陶蓋碗, Sù Táo Dǎi Táo Gàiwǎn, "Plain Clay Dai Clay Lid Bowl") - The Dǎi Zú 傣族 ("Dai People") are an ethnic group indigenous to southern Yunnan and comprise the ethnic majority of Xishuangbanna. Their pottery tradition goes back millennia. The application of Dai clay and their distinctive pottery and aesthetic to gong fu-style teaware is a recent innovation, and represents a unique and beautiful intersection between Dai and Han culture.
These hand-thrown, unglazed gaiwans are made by the Dai Xiang Studio in Xishuangbanna. Their simple design highlights the beauty of the brown Dai clay chosen for its thermal and memory properties. Like Yixing Purple Sand Clay, this Dai clay will develop a patina over time. A well-loved vessel will eventually enhance the depth of tea steeped in it. They range between 145-190 milliliters in volume, with the Script and Feather gaiwan being the largest and the rest being roughly 165 ml.
These gaiwans are even and well-designed, with a smooth and elegant pour. Some are blank, and others feature traditional Dai motifs in plain relief or painted in saffron-colored slip. Being unglazed and porous, these gaiwans should be dedicated to a single type of tea for best results. Although they are suitable for any kind of tea, being from Yunnan they are particularly appropriate for Yunnan tea such as Pu'er.