Why ball filters?


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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 28th, '13, 20:43

I don't buy yixing to collect either, and I think some of these tests (especially water stopping and alignment measurement) are quite basic and most yixing have no problem to get at least a B+ on them. These are tests of functionality. A teapot that scores higher in those tests is more likely to function well. In the other way, a teapot you feel easier to use is more likely to score higher in these tests.
The inverted test (or anything else involve hanging or shaking) should be done above water. Other tests have proper ways too. It's not that test failures all receive death sentence :lol:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby theredbaron » Apr 28th, '13, 20:52

gingkoseto wrote:
AdamMY wrote:Don't forget the following test ( I wonder how many broken lids it has resulted in). I swear in one book I purchased when they talked about yixing, they said a test of a good quality pot would be to fill it with water, place the lid on cover the spout, and while holding the lid invert. If you can keep the spout covered but stop holding the lid and the lid stays on your pot is incredibly well made. :shock: :roll: :lol: (Really not sure which is appropriate here, it is sort of the phases I went through after hearing about this.

I do think these tests are very important and fast ways for examination. You don't see "oldies" (as in contrast to newbies :mrgreen: ) doing this all the time because experience can allow one >90% to predict the test results by examining the craftsmanship of the teapots. If a yixing can't pass the water-stop test with at least a B+ (the inverted test may depend on size and weight) and can still be considered good, then it had better be revolutionarily artistic. But chances are if a teapot can't pass this test, it's just not carefully made.


These tests are only relevant regarding craftsmanship, and say nothing at all about clay quality. Almost none of the cultural revolution teapots will pass any such test, yet they are still highly searched after for their pure clay.

As to filters, both ball and screen, i do not like them in Yixing pots at all. I only use pots with single hole spouts. I find the flow is better, and if leaves get stuck in the spout they are much easier to to get free - one little push with the pincher tool and they will be OK again.
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby tingjunkie » Apr 28th, '13, 21:26

theredbaron wrote:As to filters, both ball and screen, i do not like them in Yixing pots at all. I only use pots with single hole spouts. I find the flow is better, and if leaves get stuck in the spout they are much easier to to get free - one little push with the pincher tool and they will be OK again.


I feel like we've done this before... :lol:

I agree with Adam and Redbaron. The upside down test proves nothing but the idea that the lid forms a vacuum with the pot body. This can be done with the most mass produced of pots simply by grinding the lid into the body with abrasive powder. Hardly a test of any sort of quality.
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 28th, '13, 21:34

theredbaron wrote:These tests are only relevant regarding craftsmanship, and say nothing at all about clay quality. Almost none of the cultural revolution teapots will pass any such test, yet they are still highly searched after for their pure clay.

Yeah it's true that the test has nothing to do with clay quality. But a team is as good as its weakest link. If there is an obvious flaw in alignment or leakage, then that's a flaw and that affects function.

Many of the mass production cultural revolution teapots are not very meticulously made. But I don't have enough experience to say whether most of them can't even pass basic tests. Those with high price tags may not have perfect details, but they at least seem to carry out basic functions pretty well. If a teapot can't pass the basic tests and people still want to pay a big price just for its clay (or its history), then, it's their own money and none of my business :mrgreen:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 28th, '13, 21:36

I have the impression that you guys use more expensive teapots than mine and you guys are more of perfectionists than me. I still think you are :D
I was really talking about the most basic quality control, not anything high end :wink:
But if necessary, it might be nice to have a yixing show with teapots that can't past water-stopping test and are still considered nice and functioning well... :?:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby tingjunkie » Apr 28th, '13, 21:45

gingkoseto wrote:But I don't have enough experience to say whether most of them can't even pass basic tests. Those with high price tags may not have perfect details, but they at least seem to carry out basic functions pretty well. If a teapot can't pass the basic tests and people still want to pay a big price just for its clay (or its history), then, it's their own money and none of my business :mrgreen:


Where did you get this list of "basic" tests from?
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby futurebird » Apr 28th, '13, 21:48

tingjunkie wrote:
theredbaron wrote:As to filters, both ball and screen, i do not like them in Yixing pots at all. I only use pots with single hole spouts. I find the flow is better, and if leaves get stuck in the spout they are much easier to to get free - one little push with the pincher tool and they will be OK again.


I feel like we've done this before... :lol:

I agree with Adam and Redbaron. The upside down test proves nothing but the idea that the lid forms a vacuum with the pot body. This can be done with the most mass produced of pots simply by grinding the lid into the body with abrasive powder. Hardly a test of any sort of quality.


Yet in Shanghai it's a big selling point. Listen to the crowd ooh and ahh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmPqA1UdSZw

Well, when making the pots it's something to aim for it shows that you have perfected your lid fit-- I hope I can do it someday.

I agree with you but I still see the attraction. I want to make a pot that that guy could swing around like a loon someday! :lol:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby tingjunkie » Apr 28th, '13, 21:52

futurebird wrote:Well, when making the pots it's something to aim for it shows that you have perfected your lid fit-- I hope I can do it someday.


No, I assure you it doesn't. With many mass produced modern pots, the lids are made just slightly too big on purpose, and then are ground down with the abrasive powder to make a "perfect" lid fit. It's a neat technique and nicer than having a drippy pot with a loose lid, but it's a far cry from master craftsmanship.
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby Teaism » Apr 28th, '13, 22:24

tingjunkie wrote:
futurebird wrote:Well, when making the pots it's something to aim for it shows that you have perfected your lid fit-- I hope I can do it someday.


No, I assure you it doesn't. With many mass produced modern pots, the lids are made just slightly too big on purpose, and then are ground down with the abrasive powder to make a "perfect" lid fit. It's a neat technique and nicer than having a drippy pot with a loose lid, but it's a far cry from master craftsmanship.


If given a choice, a perfect pot is great but I prefer the real old Yixing clay/pot with human touch craftmanship where the workmanship is often utilitarian. A little rattle on the lid and drip here and there humbled the whole process of the tea ceremony. An old imperfect genuine zisha teapot definately has the reminicense of tea culture past era, when tea was a leisurely fleeting indulgence.

The ball filter is one of my favourite too, I like the flatter ball of the early 70s pot which I appreciate the craftmen patience to try to perfect the holes of the ball. Sometimes I can just gaze into it and let my imagination run wild. :lol:

Anyway, it is just a matter of personal preference.
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 28th, '13, 22:36

Teaism wrote:
tingjunkie wrote:
futurebird wrote:Well, when making the pots it's something to aim for it shows that you have perfected your lid fit-- I hope I can do it someday.


No, I assure you it doesn't. With many mass produced modern pots, the lids are made just slightly too big on purpose, and then are ground down with the abrasive powder to make a "perfect" lid fit. It's a neat technique and nicer than having a drippy pot with a loose lid, but it's a far cry from master craftsmanship.


If given a choice, a perfect pot is great but I prefer the real old Yixing clay/pot with human touch craftmanship where the workmanship is often utilitarian. A little rattle on the lid and drip here and there humbled the whole process of the tea ceremony. An old imperfect genuine zisha teapot definately has the reminicense of tea culture past era, when tea was a leisurely fleeting indulgence.

The ball filter is one of my favourite too, I like the flatter ball of the early 70s pot which I appreciate the craftmen patience to try to perfect the holes of the ball. Sometimes I can just gaze into it and let my imagination run wild. :lol:

Anyway, it is just a matter of personal preference.

I suspect people are using very different standards here. When you talk about "A little rattle on the lid and drip here and there", you are talking about one level of imperfection, but others may be thinking of another level of imperfection and believing poor craftsmanship is ok and quality control tests are useless.
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 28th, '13, 22:39

tingjunkie wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:But I don't have enough experience to say whether most of them can't even pass basic tests. Those with high price tags may not have perfect details, but they at least seem to carry out basic functions pretty well. If a teapot can't pass the basic tests and people still want to pay a big price just for its clay (or its history), then, it's their own money and none of my business :mrgreen:


Where did you get this list of "basic" tests from?


I don't think one needs a list to test the basic function of daily utensils. Honestly I believe most of your teapots can easily pass most of the basic tests and I don't know if you are just having fun arguing :wink:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby Teaism » Apr 28th, '13, 22:51

Opps! pardon me. Thanks for highlighting.

I am refering to old pots where zisha is real and the craftmanship is utilitarian. Those were production pots and most of them have rattle and drip here and there. If given a box full of these to choose from, I will definately choose a perfect one from the lot. But those pots are rarely available and most of the time when we find it, they are imperfect.

Of course we have to be really fussy over the workmanship for pot selection. The general guideline for pot selection are perfect fit lid, no grinding mark on lid, perfect water pour, no joint mark, no dripping mark from cover and genuine zisha, perfect alignment and propotion etc etc....and for really advance pot connossier is to follow the 6 points of pot selection. It is OT but I will talk about it in future posting.

Cheers and have a great tea day my friend.

Cheers!
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby tingjunkie » Apr 29th, '13, 00:15

I don't know... the word "perfect" starts getting thrown around too much, and this might turn into a philosophy discussion. :mrgreen:

I think there are several different standards being talked about here. Mainly utilitarian vs. art collector. Having pots with masterful craftsmanship is a real joy, and top craftsmanship quite often goes hand in hand with useability, but one hardly judges craftsmanship by covering the spout and turning it upside down in hopes the lid won't fall off. If our main concern is making tea, then clay quality, pour time, firing level, and size will always trump lid fit, pour, symmetry, artistry, etc.

Of course, if you've got enough cash, you don't have to settle for any "imperfections" if you don't want to, and you can get the total package, but that's cheating. :lol:
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Re: Why ball filters?

Postby futurebird » Apr 29th, '13, 00:29

I've been noticing quite a few pots that are very well made... but out of poor clay. This makes me sad on some levels, but getting decent clay must be really hard.

I have two pots that are clearly hand-built, and with amazing precision (not ground) well proportioned etc... but the clay is so cheap it shatters if you say "boo" to it.

There ought to be a foundation that gives skilled potters better clay.

(and I can't wait to find out if the clay from chinese clay arts that I'm using is "decent modern clay" -- I think the non-colored stuff will be fine-- )

I guess I'm just making the point that I admire some pots in spite of their clay. It can go both ways. (especially with modern pots)
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