Sad news from Hongkou today. Tao Qingjian, a wokmaker in Shanghai whom I profiled for SmSh two years ago
, has quietly retired and is selling off the very last of his stock, I discovered in a quick check-in phone call this afternoon. Tao was, to my knowledge, the last of the handmade wokmakers in downtown Shanghai, a hobby he picked up in the 1980s that proved crucial to supporting his family in the turbulent economic environment of the 1990s. He made beautiful woks out of a few square meters on the sidewalk, and was as passionate about his craft as he was frustrated by the petty officials who constantly harassed him. He has less than 10 woks left as of Tuesday afternoon. If you'd like one, you'd better be fast. His phone is at the bottom of this article
. Wansui, Tao, wansui.