May 13th, '15, 02:52
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » May 13th, '15, 02:52

Update:
Initially, I thought I could just glue it back, but my teacher advised against any glueing and suggested to sand it off.

Which I did. I couldn’t go as far as to make the whole chipping invisible as that would have made it impractical to use. Which is why you can still see some of it. But an improvement and most importantly I can still use it :)
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May 13th, '15, 05:07
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by William » May 13th, '15, 05:07

Still a beautiful teapot with a really nice glaze! :)

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Jun 7th, '15, 15:09
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by SlowOx » Jun 7th, '15, 15:09

Curious... why glaze at all? Have you thought about working a teapot without glaze?

Jun 7th, '15, 22:15
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 7th, '15, 22:15

SlowOx wrote:Curious... why glaze at all? Have you thought about working a teapot without glaze?
Question of clay density. My teacher uses a variety of clays. Those have to be glazed, otherwise they will leak liquid and/or will consume a lot of the teas flavour. Heat escapes also more quickly.

The only way not to glaze, is to burn them in a wood-fire kiln at a certain temperature for a certain period of days. The normal clay we use is half clay, half porcelain, recently he let me try a few more expensive japanese clays (with more iron content), but those have to be fired with the wood-fire kiln (would be a waste otherwise). More on those in the near future, I hope :)

I am still a layman potter, but that is how I understood it so far…

Of course, I would prefer all my pots to be burned in the wood-fire kiln, but with my standing as a junior student, I only have limited pieces in the kiln
and not always very good spots, so sometimes it is preferable to glaze certain pieces.

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Jun 10th, '15, 23:24
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by SlowOx » Jun 10th, '15, 23:24

Bok wrote:
Question of clay density. My teacher uses a variety of clays. Those have to be glazed, otherwise they will leak liquid and/or will consume a lot of the teas flavour. Heat escapes also more quickly.

The only way not to glaze, is to burn them in a wood-fire kiln at a certain temperature for a certain period of days. The normal clay we use is half clay, half porcelain, recently he let me try a few more expensive japanese clays (with more iron content), but those have to be fired with the wood-fire kiln (would be a waste otherwise). More on those in the near future, I hope :)

I am still a layman potter, but that is how I understood it so far…

Of course, I would prefer all my pots to be burned in the wood-fire kiln, but with my standing as a junior student, I only have limited pieces in the kiln
and not always very good spots, so sometimes it is preferable to glaze certain pieces.
Ah! I'm so excited to see some more pieces!!

Jun 20th, '15, 00:39
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 20th, '15, 00:39

After a while, two new pots. Both of them from a wood-firing. This time the group of pottery masters which run the kiln decided on a different method. Normally, they fire a very high temperature for about three days non-stop.
This time, the temperature was lower but for 13 days, with sometimes even a pause during night time, when no new wood was added. More on that later...

Eighteen has a colour which they did not have before in their kiln.
Not the most spectacular colour ever seen, but not ugly either. Some sort of field-grey. On one side it almost looks like a crackled glazing, although none was added. I did not expect this pot to be wood-fired, which is why the handle is a bit to thin, and bubbles appeared, which I sanded off a bit.
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Jun 20th, '15, 00:47
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 20th, '15, 00:47

It performs well with tea and has a nice, steady pour. The lid opening is a tad to big, so good to use in hot Asia, not so practical in Central Europe 8)

I am slowly moving away from tall and edgy shapes now, as in my personal experience so far, tea tastes significantly better in medium to low-profile pots. Taller pots often look nicer, but for me practicality and taste comes first!
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Jun 20th, '15, 00:55
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 20th, '15, 00:55

Nineteen... well my teacher had a suspicion that the clay I did those two pots with was not one which is supposed to be wood-fired. Turns out he was right! The result is that both pots are warped. 18 is ok, it is only slightly slanted. 19 I thought lost, when I saw it first. The pot hole is nowhere near a circle shape, and the lid did not fit, sticking out about 2cm.

However, after some iron sanding and lot of screechy noises, it now fits – watertight! I must say I like this ugly duckling better with its faults than its intended shape! This is the sort of result which one could not achieve if one aimed for it.

On a side note, this was the worst firing the group had ever... My teacher suspects that some of the less experienced potters did not follow the recipe they had written down for everyone. Very unsatisfying for everyone.
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Jun 20th, '15, 01:03
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 20th, '15, 01:03

Now to the usage. 19 is also a good performer, only the water pour is not as smooth. This one is still on the tall side, but the effect on the tea is not too bad.

I notice an improvement on my lid making compared to the previous ones.
No more crumbled inwards edges. My teacher recently puts my focus on the spouts now, as I tend to make them to large now and sometimes too uniformely straight. That has a negative effect on water pressure and the time it takes to empty the pot.

Design-wise, the geometric and edgy knob of the lid and the lid overall does clash a bit with the smooth curves of the the rest of the pot. In retrospect, the handle also looks a bit alien in the ensemble...
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Jun 22nd, '15, 02:54
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Jun 22nd, '15, 02:54

Bok,

Both pieces are beautiful. In fact, if it was me, I'd have another go at making some pieces of the same clay and trying them in a wood-fired environment again to what gifts the fire might bestow upon you.

Does #19 drip from the spout or is just that the "chu shui/出水" is not beautiful? Does either one drip from the lid? I haven't heard you mention that issue with your pieces. So many pieces, even in Ying Ge and amongst my artisan friends, end up having issues with flow and drip from the lid. A slight drip from the spout I can deal with but leaky lids are distracting to manage, especially when not pouring straight to a chahai.

I've been trying to look at all the dynamics of flow to help my wife with her pieces and we are close....but so far each pot is its own entity, with its own unique way of showing up.

As always, thanks for sharing the journey......

奇山

Jun 22nd, '15, 05:37
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 22nd, '15, 05:37

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote: Both pieces are beautiful. In fact, if it was me, I'd have another go at making some pieces of the same clay and trying them in a wood-fired environment again to what gifts the fire might bestow upon you.
Thanks for the kind words my friend! That is indeed the beauty of the wood firing – you never know what you get! Even the masters can only have a vague idea on how to influence the outcome. There is a long queue of firing-ready pieces (I am at number 27 already). I will have to be patient though, as there is no new date for a wood firing yet…
茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote: Does #19 drip from the spout or is just that the "chu shui/出水" is not beautiful? Does either one drip from the lid? I haven't heard you mention that issue with your pieces.
It merely is a cosmetic issue. The stream of tea is not even, it has slight disturbances in the flow. 18 has a perfectly smooth stream which comes out quite energetically.

Dripping from the lid I did not encounter so far, but I think that has to do with how my teacher taught me to prepare the pots.

Basically when trimming the lid to fit the body, it should not be a perfect fit! It needs to stick out a tiny bit. Once fired, we use iron sand with humble toothpaste and grind it slowly to fit snugly. Intermediate steps can be rinsing and testing if the pot is watertight once the airhole is closed. Amazingly, it can be grinded down a lot, so after trimming the fit is not such a big worry. A lid which is too loose is a bigger problem…

Flow is more complicated. The important factors as I’ve understood them is the alignement of the mesh holes inside and the angle and alignements with overall pot shape and even with the handle. Difficult to explain in words – If I find a moment I’ll draw it up.

Another factor which influences the dripping is the minutiae of how one handles the pot when brewing, but of course some pot are easier to brew than others, that’s probably where the mastery lies :mrgreen:

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Jun 27th, '15, 22:07
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by SlowOx » Jun 27th, '15, 22:07

Bok,

The roundness of teapot 18 is very beautiful. Personally I am very attracted to round teapots. I find that edges and warbles (ripples/dents/boxiness/etc.) often obstruct a sense of peacefulness when I sit and let my mind meditated on the teapot. Very well done there.

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Jun 28th, '15, 13:08
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Psyck » Jun 28th, '15, 13:08

Bok wrote: From what my teacher taught me about the symmetry of a (chinese) teapot,
The top of the spout should align with the top of the lid-less body. If the bottom part of the tip of the spout still aligns that is also still ok, although not ideal. In terms of chinese harmony the part where the handle is attached to the body should align with the spout, but this is not a necessity and can be ignored to allow more artistic freedom.

I did a few drawings to illustrate that.
If the top of the spout is aligned to the top of the body, & hence the bottom of the spout is lower than the top of the body; what stops the water from leaking out of the spout when the body is filled with water?

Jun 30th, '15, 11:54
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 30th, '15, 11:54

You are right, it should indeed be more of an alignment of the lower edge of the opening of the spout. Traditional pots often have a horizontally cut spout opening.

Weirdly, even if it is indeed the top of the spout opening as I mentioned, it does not leak. The water fills the whole spout, but by some physical law others will be better to explain than me, it stays in (pressure, suction?). Due to this some people quickly tilt the pot a little before pouring, to empty that little bit of water which hasn't touched the tea leaves. I personally don't do that and have not noticed a "watering down" of flavour.

I guess that such an alignment would indeed leak water, if the spout would not have an upward angle.

Jun 30th, '15, 12:00
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Re: 100 pots – A learning path

by Bok » Jun 30th, '15, 12:00

SlowOx wrote:Bok,

The roundness of teapot 18 is very beautiful. Personally I am very attracted to round teapots. I find that edges and warbles (ripples/dents/boxiness/etc.) often obstruct a sense of peacefulness when I sit and let my mind meditated on the teapot. Very well done there.
Thanks, it is my current standard teapot :) Roundness is the most difficult to achieve, I always struggle to raise a perfectly round body...
As I said, I found that roundness is not only pretty, but also better to brew tea. My guess is that edges in the body, do not help the leaves to open up as organically as smooth curves.

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