Gao Xuyang


gao xuyang pic






Gao Xuyang

DPhil candidate, School of Archaeology



Xuyang completed a BA in Art History at Central Academy of Fine Art and a MA in Asian Archaeology and Heritage at University College London. After her Master degree, Xuyang carried out research at the University of Oxford. Xuyang is currently studying for a DPhil in zisha ware production, the Ming and Qing dynasties China, supervised by Professor Anke Hein and Professor Chris Doherty. Xuyang's main research interests lie in archaeology, historical and scientific analysis of Chinese prehistoric and historic period ceramics. 

DPhil topic

‘The Origins and Evolution of Chinese Zisha Teapot Manufacture’

Zisha teapots are unglazed tea-making stoneware produced in the Yixing area in China's Jiangsu province. This teaware is distributed locally and exported to numerous countries in East Asia, even to Europe. The handmade zisha teapot, created for tea serving, is engaged with slab building and paddle shaping techniques. 

This research is mainly for solving the puzzle for the sudden rise of zisha teapot in regional pottery making history, which adopts zisha clay and unusual slow wheel paddling techniques. Before the rise of zisha teapot production, potters in the Yixing region had already expertly practised the fast wheel pottery making techniques, which is believed to be more productive than slow wheel pottery making. The appearance of zisha teapots means local potters abandoned the skilful, efficient technique of fast wheel-thrown to an uncommon slab building technique. This study will enable a further understanding of Chinese ceramic manufacturing in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The factors contributing to the rise of zisha ware allows a glimpse of potters’ decision-making in balancing the pottery making clay, techniques and connoisseurship.