This thick-walled teapot has a softly-rounded shape and an elegantly-curved spout that pours well. Its highly-polished clay is a beautifully-swirled blend of reddish-purple and brown hues. Although they may look painted on, the plum blossom branch and calligraphic decoration are in fact slip inlay. The process of creating this inlay requires multiple steps and great precision. Typically, either the potter or designated artist first paints the design onto the clay in ink. Then the painted design is carefully carved out of the clay. The more intricate and smaller the design, the more difficult the task is for the carver. Next, colored slip is pressed into the carved recesses and the surface is smoothed over to insure that the slip is flush with the rest of the vessel. It is crucial that enough slip is applied with sufficient force to ensure it will fuse with, and not separate from, the teapot during firing. After the slip is worked in, the piece is allowed to dry for a week or more, and then it is fired in a kiln for 8 – 12 hours. Once firing is complete and the piece has cooled, it is sanded well and polished to either a matte finish or a high-gloss shine. This final step brings out both the beauty of the inlay design and the clay’s rich color.
This teapot comes wrapped in a protective silk-fabric pouch with a drawstring closure, and packaged in a presentation box with a metal closure. The pouch is perfect for storing the pot between uses to ward off scratches and dust. All photos are of the actual pot that is for sale (we only have one, so act quickly!).
Jianshui purple pottery is produced in Jianshui County in China’s Yunnan province. It, along with Yixing Zisha, Qinzhou Nixing and Rongchand make up China’s four famous types of pottery. The ores used to create Jianshui clay are collected from the areas surrounding mountains and consist of five colors: red, yellow, cyan, purple, and white. Once ground, the different ores can be blended in varying amounts to create different colors. The clay created from these ores is iron rich and once fired, it is significantly more dense (less porous ) and heavier than Yixing clay. Pieces are formed on a potter’s wheel and many are decorated with slip inlay designs. Jianshui clay contains little to no sand, allowing potters to create a high gloss finish on their pieces purely through polishing.
Jianshui teapots do retain heat and are well suited for use with teas that steep at a higher temperature (Pu-erh and other hei cha, black tea, and oolong).
Although a Jianshui teapot is less porous than an Yixing teapot, we recommend that they be cared for in a similar manner. Follow the steps 1-6 only, found in How to ‘Raise’ an Yixing Teapot, for instructions.
We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.
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