Scholar’s Objects – Brush Pots and Washers

Famille Rose Brush Pot
Famille Rose Brush Pot

The brush pot (bitong) is mostly a cylindrical container for holding brushes used by scholars. They are made from various materials such as stone, porcelain and bamboo and often are decorated with ornate motifs, symbols and carvings.

The numerous brushes would be rinsed and stored in the pot with their handles down, so that the bundles of hair would keep their shape and point.

The brush is an important tool to the scholar. With it he could engage in calligraphy, landscape and still life painting. Like the pots the brushes came in an array of sizes.

Chinese brush washers were created at the same time as ink painting, and were used to remove excess ink from the brush while the scholar painted, or after the painting was finished. A common shape for the brush washer was a lotus leaf or flower.

This symbolises, that although the roots of the lotus plant grow in mud and the flower emerges on the water, clean and untarnished, so a brush would similarly emerge from the washer.

They were made in a myriad of shapes and sizes and a host of different materials, both ornate and plain, and have their origins in the Tang (618 – 907AD) and Song (960- 1279 AD.) dynasties.

All To Pot – Baijiu Cocktail

40ml of V.I.P Jiu 8
45ml of Irish mist
90ml of orange juice
Soda water
6 ice cubes
1 slice of orange

Put 3 ice cubes into a cocktail shaker add everything except the soda water and orange slice, shake to mix and put the remaining ice into tumbler, strain cocktail over. Add splash of soda water, garnish with orange slice and enjoy!

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