Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby margo » Jan 11th, '13, 14:05

bagua7,
thank you for your advice. I've been reading a lot about Yixing pots, clay etc. on several resources for the last few days and I realized that it's much more complicated thing that I thought :). Actually, a deeper look at Yixing theme and warnings of more experiences members stopped me from rush to buy the first nicely looking inexpensive pot I came across. I think I'll take my time, read and ask around more and than buy my first Yixing. I'm also now considering zi ni (or the same category clay) pot.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » Jan 29th, '13, 21:07

More info about Yixing clay types in the following link.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » Jan 31st, '13, 19:18

Info about zhu ni clay in the following link (Chinese).

You can use the following automatic URL translator.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » Mar 19th, '13, 20:38

Some more historical background about Yixing Pottery:

http://www.temae.net/the-history-of-the ... hapter/530

A very easy and enjoyable reading.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » May 6th, '13, 23:44

Chinese article about zhu ni da hong pao clay.

No longer existing in the current mines, hence extinct. Whatever pots you come across saying it is da hong pao the pot would be a fake made of a combination of low-grade purple clay and iron pink? (some cheap chemical oxide, not sure about the quality of the translation) mined from Sichuan.

Same goes with claims about lao zhu ni and others.

Translation.
Last edited by bagua7 on Jun 14th, '14, 05:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » Jun 14th, '14, 00:33

More info about early Yixing teapots:

Chinese

English
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby chrl42 » Jun 14th, '14, 01:42

bagua7 wrote:Chinese article about zhu ni da hong pao clay.

No longer existing in the current mines, hence extinct. Whatever pots you come across saying it is da hong pao the pot would be a fake made of a combination of low-grade purple clay and iron pink? (some cheap chemical oxide, not sure about the quality of the translation) mined from Sichuan.

Same goes with claims about lao zhu ni and others.

Translation.

Da Hong Pao doesn't exist. I don't even know if it has existed once. :?

Image Yu Guo-liang's famous DHP clay is reported to be Zhaozhuang Shihuang-mixed (iron-rich clay, only used for blending itself doesn't have a plasticity). Similar batch has been used by other masters of the ROC period.

Tian Qing Ni..Dao Hong Pao, Li Pi Ni etc..those legendary Ming-Qing clays are only a guess. No one exactly knows what Yixings were made of the very clays.


Yixing clay is rare and almost extinct, and Hongni & Zhuni is extreme. Recently Factory-1 had some good Hongni until early-80s, but that's it. Modern Zhuni called Xiao Mei Yao has been used since 90s..but the color can't match older Zhaozhuang batches and it shrinks too much ('specially when hand-made). Zaoqi (early) Xiao Mei Yao Zhuni is still very good..but quantity left is so few and not many Zhuni potters can dare to use it to hand-make. :?
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby bagua7 » Jun 14th, '14, 05:25

The truth is that the whole Yixing market is a BIG MESS, and no one wants to admit it. They just fully opened Pandora's box and in the end is that everyone has been affected (not only customers) by so much deception and misinformation.

If you have a pot that brews excellent tea, keep it, look after it well and use it for years/decades to come. Collecting Yixings (especially if you are after pure -if there is such a thing as pure clay being used- and older pots) is like gambling in a casino, a rich man's game.
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Re: Guide to Yixing Clay Teapots

Postby kyarazen » Jun 14th, '14, 09:27

bagua7 wrote:The truth is that the whole Yixing market is a BIG MESS, and no one wants to admit it. They just fully opened Pandora's box and in the end is that everyone has been affected (not only customers) by so much deception and misinformation.

If you have a pot that brews excellent tea, keep it, look after it well and use it for years/decades to come. Collecting Yixings (especially if you are after pure -if there is such a thing as pure clay being used- and older pots) is like gambling in a casino, a rich man's game.


Actually its not that big a mess if you know your objectives. the yixing pot is just a vessel to make tea. and if your objective is to make good tea, then knowing the vessel well enough and its properties to be able to enhance the brew is good enough. brewing tea in an expensive pot wont make it taste any better than a pot of recent manufacture if they have similar properties, and sometimes not even comparable to using a gaiwan. but the brew from such a pot sometimes is necessary not to feed the stomach but to feed the ego and self esteem.

it is not uncommon to see people bragging, "me drink best tea in 60s zhuni!" to have another bragging, "me drink 30-40 year old pu-erh in early ROC pots only!".. to another one.. that "big deal! me drink song pin hao in qing dynasty vessels only!" .. and another from Ming Dynasty and so on. although it may be possible for us or anyone to look at such people with "disdain", but maybe in due time we have to learn to understand and be compassionate towards them because of their needs, particularly on the psychological aspect, and they do not enjoy the tea, but just the temporal satisfaction of knowing that they are "up there" and have out done others. it is not wrong to have such a need.

the other spectrum of yixing is to play with "artisan" pots from famous makers. without a doubt, most of these pots are either too big for regular usage and possibly too pricey to risk damaging through usage. the main appreciation of these pots is in the artistry of the vessels, so much so that an 80s made pot can cost thousands of times of that the price of an ROC or Qing pot, and tens of thousands of times of that of 80s-90s pots.

the chinese, being a fan of classification and naming things would naturally give names to different color types, different blends, different mixes based on the appearances of them. how pure can clay be, considering that it is a natural blend of ores? perhaps purity would mean un-adulterated, un-mixed, but in some eras, some clays are blended with each other to achieve new colors. digging from different depths, different strata will also generate a gradient of different chemical compositions and as such different color tones, particularly at boundary areas of layers. in the aging/eroding of the clay in storage prior to being made into products, oxidation state changes bring about color tone changes, particle size change, etc (which is why some processing methods in this step is considered artisan secrets sometimes) after firing, differences of 20 degrees celsius/1-2% temperature difference (considering firing at 1100-1200), results in a variety of color tones as well.
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