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Water Jars

by Herb_Master » May 26th 09 1:14 pm

I am looking to experiment with water, including the addition of charcoal.

I have noted the comments in various chats on the forum, that suggest Ming porcelain, and various ceramic forms including glazed stoneware, all provide benefit to the water.

However something keeps tugging at my grey cells - repeated references in blogs and the like to Clay Water Jars! and Yixing Water Jars! - This immediately suggests to me - Unglazed.

I have found this interesting article which some may wish to read

Reflections from the depth of a water jar!
http://www.thailandgrandfestival.com/fe ... storyID=29
For as long as anyone can remember the water jar, or maaw nahm, has been placed outside houses in Thailand as a welcome for the weary traveller and passer-by . . . . .
I note from TeaDrunk that 2 of our chatters have had a look at this subject, but no final conclusion, or water jar sources provided.
http://teadrunk.org/viewtopic.php?id=86

And this fascinating (lengthy) article from an American Studio Potter in Nepal
http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/l ... er_jar.htm
New water jars and small clay horses -- household deities -- are a necessary part of the celebrations: they must be renewed each year and installed ritually.
Is it ritual? Perhaps down to the fact that a firing is a laborious activity and only done annually, that an annual firing produces just so many jars and the following year will see them gradually getting broken!

or do unglazed clay jars absorb the impurities from water to the extent that eventually they lose the function and need replacing

Do any of our artisan potters use a clay that would be suitable for unglazed water jars?

Does anyone know of a source for cheap unglazed water jars so that one can afford to buy many!

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May 26th 09 4:10 pm
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Unglazed ceramics

by Moss » May 26th 09 4:10 pm

Ceramics normally go through two firings in the west (at least) and one in the east. (Not absolutely true, but sort of)

The first firing is the bisque which dries the clay thoroughly and hardens it to the point that it won't get marked or damaged while handling during the glazing process. The second firing brings the clay to maturity where it won't leak and any glazes melt and attach to the surface of the clay itself.

If you use bisque ware without firing it to full final temperature, then you get vessels that leak. This is actually a good thing in a lot of ways, because you can use the effect to keep liquids cool. As the water is drawn out of the clay, evaporation cools the vessel and the remaining liquid. Wine chillers are often bisqueware.

If you fire to full maturity, even without a glaze, most clays are non-porous. Nothing is going to get drawn into the ceramic itself, not water and not impurities. If you do have any interface between the clay and the contents, it is generally only the molecules on the very surface of the clay that are affected.

I would attribute most stories of clay improving water to be either by way of bisque where things do go into the clay or wives tales in the case of high fired ceramics.

I personally love fired, unglazed clays, they are beautiful and tactile and while not purifying in a real sense they can be part of the experience and purifying that way.
Matt Brown
Moss Beach Ceramics
www.mossbeachceramics.etsy.com
www.mossbeachceramics.com

Available at Teance tea room, Berkeley, California

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by Moss » May 26th 09 4:11 pm

If you want an unglazed water jar, either bisque or to maturity, I would be happy to make one for you to experiment with.
Matt Brown
Moss Beach Ceramics
www.mossbeachceramics.etsy.com
www.mossbeachceramics.com

Available at Teance tea room, Berkeley, California

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by Tead Off » May 26th 09 6:23 pm

The element in clay that changes the taste of water is the iron content. Purple clay, like zisha, will change the taste of water like iron tetsubin. Both are reduction fired changing the iron content from fe3 to fe2. The problem is the cost of buying a large enough zisha water storage jar and also finding one.

The Purion pots that Lin's Ceramics in Taiwan sell, is another possibility. Their catalog shows a few pots with taps built in to them.

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Fe2

by Moss » May 26th 09 6:53 pm

I can create a pot with Fe(ii) on the inside. Will do a little test and send it to whoever wants it. Let me know if it makes a difference.

Probably about 2 weeks on that.
Matt Brown
Moss Beach Ceramics
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www.mossbeachceramics.com

Available at Teance tea room, Berkeley, California

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by brandon » May 26th 09 7:39 pm

I could test one versus Lin's Purion if that is interesting to you folks. I don't have a tetsubin here, unfortunately.
Assuming the cost and shipping is not too high of course, PM me so you don't waste your time on it.

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by Moss » May 26th 09 7:56 pm

Brandon. I'll do a small one. not going to be that pretty, but will be functional. OK?

Pretty will be concidence only on this one..

Will PM you when ready.
Matt Brown
Moss Beach Ceramics
www.mossbeachceramics.etsy.com
www.mossbeachceramics.com

Available at Teance tea room, Berkeley, California

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by hooksie » May 26th 09 8:03 pm

brandon wrote:I could test one versus Lin's Purion if that is interesting to you folks. I don't have a tetsubin here, unfortunately.
Assuming the cost and shipping is not too high of course, PM me so you don't waste your time on it.
I'm quite interested to hear the results to this. I am receiving a purion pot today from Lin's, quite interested how it stacks against other ceramics.
We were fated to pretend.

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by brandon » May 26th 09 8:54 pm

Here are the basic parameters:

Filtered tap water from Adagio Utilitea
Control - Glass container
Subject 1 - Moss's Magic Ferrite Jar
Subject 2 - Purion Jar

Water should rest in all containers for the same length of time (overnight?) and be drawn from the top.

I would normally use a Purion kettle but that would probably defeat the purpose of the test. I will use a glass kettle.

Teas:
Yancha, high fire
Spring 09 Green (Long Jing?)
80s Sheng Puerh
09 Green Puerh

This is a little ambitious but I think I am up to it. TIM did a good write up on spring/filtered/filtered + jarred but I have never seen a head to head comparison of different materials. Question comes up quite a lot so lets put it to rest.

...If someone would like to donate a Ming dynasty water jar to the cause, please PM me :)

One major caveat is that I am not set up to boil 3 identical kettles and operate 3 gaiwans simultaneously. Tests will be conducted serially and you are going to have to put some faith into my judgment.

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by Ebtoulson » May 26th 09 9:57 pm

Nice everything's getting all scientific and organized. I like it!
I'm really curious to see how this turns out. What kind of water are you going to put in all of them? Spring water?

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by brandon » May 26th 09 10:11 pm

Ebtoulson wrote:Nice everything's getting all scientific and organized. I like it!
I'm really curious to see how this turns out. What kind of water are you going to put in all of them? Spring water?
Filtered tap water. I expect this has more room for improvement, and I use it more often for tea. The unscientific portions of this test are slightly balanced in my mind by the fact that all the other components are things that I am very familiar with.

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by Herb_Master » May 26th 09 10:22 pm

brandon wrote:Here are the basic parameters:

Filtered tap water from Adagio Utilitea
Control - Glass container
Subject 1 - Moss's Magic Ferrite Jar
Subject 2 - Purion Jar

Water should rest in all containers for the same length of time (overnight?) and be drawn from the top.
I would normally use a Purion kettle but that would probably defeat the purpose of the test. I will use a glass kettle.

Teas:
Yancha, high fire
Spring 09 Green (Long Jing?)
80s Sheng Puerh
09 Green Puerh

This is a little ambitious but I think I am up to it. TIM did a good write up on spring/filtered/filtered + jarred but I have never seen a head to head comparison of different materials. Question comes up quite a lot so lets put it to rest.

...If someone would like to donate a Ming dynasty water jar to the cause, please PM me :)

One major caveat is that I am not set up to boil 3 identical kettles and operate 3 gaiwans simultaneously. Tests will be conducted serially and you are going to have to put some faith into my judgment.
I wonder if Moss can make a Magic Ferrite Ladle.

Are you using a Glass Teapot and Porcelain Cups?

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by brandon » May 26th 09 10:43 pm

Porcelain gaiwan (2 sizes), porcelain cups to match tea.

Teaware will be consistent across all waters, but not across all teas.
I have preferences for each, like a larger gaiwan for greens.

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by Drax » May 26th 09 10:46 pm

Awesome, I will be very interested to hear the results of this experiment. I have been looking for a larger water-container, too.

Of course, at this point, I'm less concerned about what's happening to the water (as long as it's not leeching bad stuff), as I am having a water container greater than 2 liters. :D

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by Moss » May 26th 09 10:54 pm

A container that holds more than 2l is going to be really heavy with the water. Is that really how large you'd want a water container to be? I think with the only tea ceremony I have seen that kneeling on the tatami, it would be very difficult to lift the water unless you were quite strong.

If this is for upstream of the actual ceremony, then that makes sense to have more than 2l of course.
Matt Brown
Moss Beach Ceramics
www.mossbeachceramics.etsy.com
www.mossbeachceramics.com

Available at Teance tea room, Berkeley, California