yixing clay teapot color

18 Jul
color of yixing clay teapot
Image above just as a reference, every realistic color of yixing clay teapot may very different with the picture shows above.
Sample of yixing clay mineral
Above is the sample of yixing clay mineral
 
Yixing clay (zisha clay or purple sand) also called “five color mud” in the past in china, in fact the “five” just means many, there are so many color of yi xing clay, most of western feel curious about it.
That’s really a complex problem to recognize the right clay even for the skilled yixing local teapotcrafter, because it need many years experience in dealing with the yixing clay. Clay exploit and production are definitely another field with make teapot, it envolves many process and aspect.
I think as an ordinary buyer, you don’t need to distinguish every detail of yixing clay, what you really need is to have a general impression about the yixing clay.
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Simple way to deal with the yi xing teapot initial use

18 Jul
My previous blog introduced a formal way for yi xing teapot initail use, but it cost long time. In fact it is not a must procedure to follow when you don’t have much time, so whatever…better than never, there is also simple way for the yi xing teapot initial use:
1. Fill your yi xing teapot with newly boiled water and allow the water to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the water.
2. Fill the teapot a second time with newly boiled water and add one teaspoon of your favorite loose tealeaves. Allow this tea to sit for a period of 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the tea, your new yi xing teapot is ready for use!
Tips: In order to season a perfect yi xing teapot, and get a well taste of your tea soup, remember only use one type of tea for that yi xing teapot.

Yi xing teapot initial use

18 Jul
One cultured way if you have time to do it:
1)place the teapot with the lid uncovered, carefully place the pieces onto a cook ware which should be large enough to hold the water and be able to cover the entire teapot.
yixing teapot initial use step1
2)Place some bean curd in the water and bring to a slow boil, since rapid boiling may damage your teapot since the pieces may possibly be hitting each other or hitting the walls in your cook ware.
yixing teapot initial use step2
 
3)slow boil for about an hour, let your teapot cool down in the cook ware with tea water still covering the entire teapot, let it stand for a day or so,
yixing teapot initial use step3
4)the next day you can take the teapot out and rub off any purple sand residue inside of your teapot, rinse well with water only, place the teapot back into the cook ware with sugarcane and bring it to a slow boil again for around an hour or so. Let it cool down in your cook ware still covering with the tea water again,
yixing teapot initial use step4-1yixing teapot initial use step4-2
5)the next day you may take out your teapot and rinse it well with hot water. After this process, the air holes in your teapot are opened up and is ready for use.
yixing teapot initial use prepare finished
 
With continued use, the purple clay from which YiXing teapots are made will absorb the flavors of your tea, becoming more seasoned with each use. Over time, the color, flavor, and aroma of your tea will develop a richness that is unique to each teapot. For this reason, Many people dedicate a specific flavor of tea or at least a specific type of tea to each YiXing teapot.
yixing teapot new&seasoned comparison
There is also a simple way for faster initial using

How to identify an authentic yixing teapot

18 Jul
First of all, look at yixing teapot’s color. For a new yixing teapot, although real zisha clay (purple clay) teapots have many colors, it is not bright, but a dim light. If the color is too bright and glare, it is likely not made by authentic yixing raw ore. For some zisha teapot which already used a  while, there should be mild light, but the same will not be dazzling color. If your zisha teapot used a long time but the color won’t change, then it most likely a fake clay yixing teapot.
fake yixing teapot 2
Above is the fake yixing teapot
authentic yixing teapot
Second, smell the odor. New zisha teapot generally smells only dust and HuoQi(火气), in short it’s the smell of natural clay burnt by fire, no other smell. If you buy a new yixing teapot smell like the chemical, or other pungent odor,  it is likely a fake clay yixing teapot. The authentic yixing teapot after used a while, will emit a faint tea aroma. Bellow are the yi xing teapots just from kiln, sillica sand on it.
yixing teapot just fired, take from kilnyixing teapot just fired, take from kiln
Third, listen to the yixing teapot’s sound. With the lid on the spout gently across, if it is an authentic yixing teapot, sonorous voice should be such as jade-like, crisp, and have a clear sense of sandy friction.
sound grain of yixing teapot
Fourth, touch the surface of yixing teapot. The surface of a new yixing teapot is not smooth, hand feels there should be sand grain texture. If the surface feels very slippery, it would be polished with wax, or not the authentic zisha clay.
 
Fifth, see water in the surface of yi xing teapot. The authentic yixing clay teapot, cause of zisha clay characteristics and pore characteristics of finished yixing teapots, to the surface in an open water washout, should be able to form a water film, commonly known as "hanging the water(挂水)", the surface of the water film should be very uniform, and can quickly dry. When you’re using open water washout, the surface was like drops of water spread out, rather than hang evenly on the surface of the water film, it is likely not authentic clay or surface after handling chemical.
yixing teapot hold the water
Sixth, put yixing teapot in boiling water. The authentic yixing clay teapot has natural color, do not add any chemical dyes. If put it into boiling water, the color of teapot surface fades, the water color varies widely, then the pot is a fake, at least add other chemicals.
yi xing teapot in boiling water
The points above, also applies to the identification of all yixing clay pots. Based on the points above, can’t 100% identify that a pot of clay used in fake, but if meet more than two of points above, then you’d better not to use it.
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