I am totally in love with Middle Kingdom porcelain! Not to be confused with "Middle Earth" from the classic Tolkien novels, Middle Kingdom is a local purveyor of fine china and porcelain, hand crafted and painted to reflect beauty in the most subtle ways. You can find it at upscale retailers nationwide, such as Room and Board and Paper Source, and you can also find it right in your backyard. Esteemed wine shop and foodie haven, Opera House Gourmet, in Old Town Manassas proudly touts the latest collections of Middle Kingdom's line. And with good reason... Allison Jia, one half of the amazing Middle Kingdom duo, is the shop owner's daughter.
For my birthday, my mom surprised me with a set of fine porcelain tea cups in a yummy barely-there celadon color. I hope to collect some other treasures as I get in to my own home one day, but for now, my bowls and cups will have to do. I may have to settle for visiting their warehouse, located in the good 'ole PWC, to take stock of their "seconds" collection, which comes at a much lower price.
A few years ago, Washington Spaces magazine did an awesome article on Allison and Bo Jia and their wonderfully sorbet-colored row house in Georgetown. Bo's story is one steeped in great tradition and history, and he brings the artistic vision and execution to the pair's booming business. The fineness of their hand painted china and the richness of their porcelain colors leaves a lot to be desired from the mass-produced competition.
For more information - see this old article Washington Post article on their business. I couldn't find the Washington Space's article, to do their work justice. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/08/AR2005060800693.html
For a real taste - visit their website at http://middlekingdomporcelain.com/.
Happy Easter, folks!