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Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by GARCH » Jul 24th 16 9:17 am

Hi all!

Decided to start a new thread about a recent pot I bought, since as you all know I broke the lid of my previous one :lol: Sending it off for kintsugi is wayyy too expensive so I decided to get a new pot first and a kintsugi starter set to DIY the broken lid.

So here is the new pot below! It's a Li Pi or Pear Skinned Zhuni (probably a high percentage of Zhuni instead of pure) pot, 140ml in volume. Emits a high pitched chime sound when you gently tap the lid against the body. It was specially made and meant for the export market to Taiwan in the 90s. It leaks very slightly when pouring with pour speed around 10 seconds. I have only been using it for maybe 7 sessions so far and already a nice patina is showing.

Image

A close up of the clay and the sand particles
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Image
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The stamp at the bottom
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Pictures of the lid
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Inside of the pot with tool marks
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Also from the pictures below, it seems like there are concentric circle lines inside the pot, on the sides, and also on the underside of the rim of the lid.


Seam line at the spout
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Seam line at the handle
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Concentric lines?
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All these makes me curious though on how exactly was this pot made. From the inner bottom of the pot it doesn't seem wheel thrown, though I might be wrong. Maybe the concentric lines were formed when pressing the clay against a mold or something :?
Wonder if anyone can kindly enlighten me on the stamp's provenance? I really have no experience in this at all :?

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by jayinhk » Jul 24th 16 10:23 am

GARCH wrote:Hi all!

Decided to start a new thread about a recent pot I bought, since as you all know I broke the lid of my previous one :lol: Sending it off for kintsugi is wayyy too expensive so I decided to get a new pot first and a kintsugi starter set to DIY the broken lid.

So here is the new pot below! It's a Li Pi or Pear Skinned Zhuni (probably a high percentage of Zhuni instead of pure) pot, 140ml in volume. Emits a high pitched chime sound when you gently tap the lid against the body. It was specially made and meant for the export market to Taiwan in the 90s. It leaks very slightly when pouring with pour speed around 10 seconds. I have only been using it for maybe 7 sessions so far and already a nice patina is showing.

Image

A close up of the clay and the sand particles
Image
Image
Image


The stamp at the bottom
Image


Pictures of the lid
Image
Image


Inside of the pot with tool marks
Image



Also from the pictures below, it seems like there are concentric circle lines inside the pot, on the sides, and also on the underside of the rim of the lid.


Seam line at the spout
Image

Seam line at the handle
Image

Concentric lines?
Image
Image


All these makes me curious though on how exactly was this pot made. From the inner bottom of the pot it doesn't seem wheel thrown, though I might be wrong. Maybe the concentric lines were formed when pressing the clay against a mold or something :?
Wonder if anyone can kindly enlighten me on the stamp's provenance? I really have no experience in this at all :?
Modern pot, no chance in hell it is zhuni unless you paid thousands. Modern hongni blend. Lines could be from wheelthrowing or a tool used to smoothen out molding marks. Does it make good tea?

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by Drax » Jul 24th 16 10:47 am

Those lines on the inside probably aren't from wheel throwing... they look more like the lines made by the potter to smooth the inside (sometimes you see radial scraping, depends on the potter). It's a tough call sometimes, but wheel thrown lines are usually a lot stronger and longer.

My limited understanding would say that if it were made in the 90s, then it's automatically a modern zhuni blend.

I love the texture, though, it's a very nice and dense effect on the skin of the spot.

I also love all the pictures, but please, let's not quote all of them every time when responding...

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by Tead Off » Jul 24th 16 11:02 am

Not zhuni and looks pretty modern to me. Not even a good example of pear skin. As mentioned, the lines look like they were made with a smoothing tool. Seal is also modern, borrowing it's style from late Qing/ROC pots. Hope you didn't pay much.

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by Drax » Jul 24th 16 1:03 pm

TeadOff -- is pear skin usually more wrinkly, and less oatmealy?

I still like the texture -- I'm not a big fan of this style when they're bigger lumps. Reminds me of skin lesions or something. But that's a personal taste thing, anyway...

Bottom line in any case, as jay mentioned, is how it brews...

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by GARCH » Jul 24th 16 2:00 pm

Hmm yes I do agree that it's definitely a zhuni blend of some sort and high fired. The owner of the shop did not say it was a pure zhuni pot as well, he only said this pot has a high percentage of zhuni in it.
I don't think it's too modern though, well at least not modern enough to be made in the 2000s.

Drax, like you I fell in love with the texture and look of the clay as well! There was another exact same pot that actually looks more like Pear Skin, the sandy particles were much bigger lumps and as you described, like skin lesions :lol: and overall more wrinkly.

As to whether the pot brews good tea, it's abit too early to tell as I am still breaking it in but my opinion is it performs very well with TGY and Taiwan roasted oolongs.
Dancong, not so much but my poor skills probably plays a greater part in it :lol:

Due to the texture of the clay and the particles I was expecting a lot of the high notes to be lost, but surprisingly it was minimal.

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by .m. » Jul 24th 16 2:05 pm

GARCH wrote:Hi all!
Decided to start a new thread about a recent pot I bought, since as you all know I broke the lid of my previous one :lol: Sending it off for kintsugi is wayyy too expensive so I decided to get a new pot first and a kintsugi starter set to DIY the broken lid.
I dont know if that could be relevant for you, just in case. It seems that there is somebody in Berlin doing a very good kintsugi for a very good price. http://tsugi.de/
Here's a link from the french tea forum: http://www.forumdesamateursdethe.fr/vie ... 20#p122101
I don't have any experience with that place, but the affordability of the discussed prices (in range of $20) simply surprised me. If it interested you, perhaps Tsubo could tell you more (http://the-et-ceramique.blogspot.fr/, he's on teachat too).

Cheers.

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by heliospace » Jul 24th 16 2:18 pm

I'm not much of a follower of moderns, but I do have a 2004 zhuni pot I can post later for you for comparison.

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by jayinhk » Jul 24th 16 3:36 pm

Modern zhuni is a red clay that probably isn't even from Yixing. Garch, your pot has larger particles blended in. Real Yixing clay is really only used on custom-grade pots nowadays and you'd be looking at very high prices for something made with real Yixing clay. Good Yixing clay is scarce. Small amounts of zhuni are still found, apparently, but you'd be paying thousands of dollars for a pot made with that stuff, and it's not quite the same as the stuff of old. Lao zhuni would cost you less.

We call this modern stuff 'zhuni' but it's definitely not the stuff of old, which has long been extinct. The current Yixing potters do try and replicate the look and feel of lao zhuni, but it's like building a fake Lamborghini with a Ford engine and calling it a Lamborghini. I have two modern zhuni pots myself, but actually prefer my neiziwaihong shuiping for oolongs to all of my other red clay pots! No idea how modern zhuni compares to the stuff of old for brewing since I've never had the privilege of drinking from real zhuni. :(
Last edited by jayinhk on Jul 24th 16 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by steanze » Jul 24th 16 3:38 pm

Hi GARCH! Nowadays, there is a lot of confusion between what vendors call hongni and what they call zhuni. It is a tricky market out there, and it takes some time to learn how to navigate it. The good thing is that if you are interested in teapots, it is possible to study them and gradually learn to understand the clay types and clay quality.

Some people use zhuni to refer only to water-filtered, very fine and very dense red clay from zhaozhuang mountain, which was mined out in the ROC ("lao" zhuni - "old" zhuni). This is teapot is not made of that, neither in whole nor in part.

Other people use zhuni to refer to very fine red clay that could be from zhaozhuang mountain, or the little coal mines (xiaomeiyao), or from other mines in huanglong mountain. If we mean zhuni in this sense, there are some modern pots made of zhuni. But usually in this sense zhuni is reserved to fine clay, mid to high end pots (for example the work of Xu Yuefeng) - expect prices in the ballpark of $500. It can look decently similar to lao zhuni, with some differences due to a combination of the clay, firing technique, and to the fact that lao zhuni at this point has undergone an aging process. Your teapot is not made of zhuni in this modern sense either, because both the texture (too coarse) and the color (too bright red) are off.

I posted some time ago a picture of these two senses of "zhuni", you can find it at this link: http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a63 ... wot9cx.jpg
The pot on the left is a modern zhuni teapot by Xu Yuefeng. The pot on the right is a Qing dynasty lao zhuni.

The material of your pot is what most people would call hongni, but is sometimes called zhuni because the name zhuni is associated with rareness/prestige. From the color of the clay, I would guess that iron oxide was added to it to make it look more red. My guess about the age of the pot is the very late '90s or the 2000s. I think it was a good decision to not send this pot for kintsugi. In the chinese market (e.g. taobao) you can find similar pots for ~$50. The pot is perfect for learning kintsugi :)

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by steanze » Jul 24th 16 3:45 pm

jayinhk wrote:No idea how it compares to the stuff of old for brewing since I've never had the privilege of drinking from real zhuni. :(
Real zhuni is very nice clay because of a combination of the effect on the tea (it protects the aroma and the taste is crisp and pure), the aesthetics (the teapot seems to glow from the inside and the surface is silky), and the history. However, the effect on the tea is not huge. Since there are few of the pots around, there are some myths that would almost make you believe that it turns teabags into laobanzhang :lol: don't believe that kind of stuff

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by pedant » Jul 25th 16 1:20 am

steanze wrote:From the color of the clay, I would guess that iron oxide was added to it to make it look more red. My guess about the age of the pot is the very late '90s or the 2000s. I think it was a good decision to not send this pot for kintsugi. In the chinese market (e.g. taobao) you can find similar pots for ~$50. The pot is perfect for learning kintsugi :)
i think he was referring to his old pot which broke:
www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=21442&p=288594

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by heliospace » Jul 25th 16 1:35 am

steanze wrote: I posted some time ago a picture of these two senses of "zhuni", you can find it at this link: http://i1287.photobucket.com/albums/a63 ... wot9cx.jpg
The pot on the left is a modern zhuni teapot by Xu Yuefeng. The pot on the right is a Qing dynasty lao zhuni.
Out of curiosity, I've seen you postulate that it is from the qing dynasty on a few occasions now, what led you to believe that it is from the Qing era? Or who? Can you share more in depth photos, pot details inside, underside lid, seal markings? Just to get a better idea...

Cheers-

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by kyarazen » Jul 25th 16 2:16 am

there are many camps on what zhuni should be.

the followers of non-tea-drinker/non-pot collector/some kind of trader that found a nice stash of grave-sourced zhuni from vietnamese regions will have their new "system" on pinpointing their standards on "zhuni"

there are also followers of a several decade long system of playing with zhuni, from the 90s till now, which has historically and internationally aligned data from various museum collections, pots in europe and in asia, and a strong cultural, historical, and tea drinking background.. they have their definition on what is a "collectible" and "good" zhuni

and another set would be the market followers, i.e. following the trends/namings of the vendors etc..

and many more!.. sophisticated subject..

apart from grinding red clay to super fine textures.... the doping of iron oxides.... to the doping of kaolin... etc etc.. :D where are the zhuni experts when we need to educate us?

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Re: Li Pi Zhuni / Tiao Sha Zhuni (pictures heavy)

by steanze » Jul 25th 16 3:04 am

pedant wrote:
steanze wrote:From the color of the clay, I would guess that iron oxide was added to it to make it look more red. My guess about the age of the pot is the very late '90s or the 2000s. I think it was a good decision to not send this pot for kintsugi. In the chinese market (e.g. taobao) you can find similar pots for ~$50. The pot is perfect for learning kintsugi :)
i think he was referring to his old pot which broke:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 2&p=288594
Thanks pedant! I missed that. The one in the thread you linked looks like much finer modern clay :)