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As the oldest slanted lane in Beijing, Yandai Xiejie still retains its traditional style, and attracts a number of domestic and overseas travelers every day. On my visit there recently, I found a unique small shop called "Feng Nian Tao Fang", which features homemade pottery. In Chinese, "Feng Nian" means "a good harvest year", and "Tao Fang" means "a studio making pottery"
The shop keeper, Mr. Liu, was easy to talk with. My new friend introduced that he started learning to draw ten years ago, hoping to become an artist.
Eight years later, that dream came true when he made up his mind, came to Beijing, and opened this shop with his beloved wife. Since then, he has been designing and crafting earthenware himself, which you can find all over the shop. His original, exclusive works reflect his powerful and unbridled imagination.
One of his favorite works depicts a beaming man in thick clothes and hat, making a bow with hands folded in front. This is a common gesture to congratulate someone in the Chinese culture. Around his neck hangs a copper coin. It is entitled "Congratulations for Getting Rich".
I also discovered a lot of colorful plates and figurines with fish designs on walls. Mr. Liu told me that thousands of years ago, our ancestors regarded fish as a totem. Therefore, they are used for praying for continued prosperity.
The shop also carries various Peking opera facial masks, and exquisite vases in different sizes and colors. Mr. Liu can speak some English for communication.
What I appreciated
Homemade pottery, traditional Chinese culture
What customers appreciate
Original designs, delicate handicrafts
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