The city of Yixing in China’s Yangtze River Delta is known for its rich clay deposits and millenia-old tradition of hand-made pottery. This small teapot carries so much intricate design and detail, from the inscriptions on one side to the landscape depicted on the other to the hexagonal shape and x-shaped spout—there is so much to notice about it from all sides. Let’s use the energy of this piece to evoke details and fullness in our writing today as well.
First, we have two prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both or neither. Just set a timer for 8 minutes and see what comes.
In the garden… / A warm cup of tea…
Now, look back over what you just wrote and see if there is a line or two that you would like to expand upon. Maybe ‘zoom in’ on or flush out. Take 5 minutes to rewrite that part of your piece, adding details and descriptions to really expand that moment. Then rewrite your full piece, incorporating this new addition, and see how it feels. Do you notice anything new?
Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past posts and look for continuing posts on alternate Sundays. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM
[Image Description: Yixing Ware Hexagonal Teapot with Stamped Inscription and Landscape Design. Shao Yuting. Late 18th Century. Zisha (purple sand) stoneware. 3 ¾” high x 6” wide x 3 ⅝” deep. The pot is a deep rust color. The lid follows the same hexagonal shape as does the handle on top of the lid. There is a rounded handle on the left and a short straight spout that is in the shape of an X. The top and side of the lid, and the lip of the pot have a repeated square spiral pattern. There is a shoulder along the top of the pot that is about an inch wide and is decorated with multiple flat flowers with four round petals around a center circle. The front has a scene showing a figure looking out of a window, hands resting on the windowsill. The figure wears a hat and looks outward. To the left of the building is a tree with a curved trunk and five main branches that have about 26 blossoms on them. Each blossom is made of a circle with a round center and about 14 petals. Small dots spill out under the tree and around the building that appear to be falling blossom petals. To the right, another small figure walks along a path to what could be a lantern in the garden. Further to the right another large tree with six main branches is filled with small dots for blossoms. It stands on a hill comprised of three layers that also have petal dots. The right side of the teapot has three columns of Chinese text, four characters in each column.]