Looking at the wonderful swirls of yellowy-golden and reddish-brown tones on this Nixing clay pot, there’s no wonder why the potter chose to leave its surface uncarved! Color changes occur in the kiln during firing, when minerals in the clay react to the heat of the fire. Such transformations that occur in the kiln are referred to (literally) as yaobian or ‘kiln change’ and are unpredictable. The placement of the piece in the kiln during firing, type of material used for burning, and temperature can all influence the outcome. It is worth noting that Yaobian is also the term used to describe the certain dramatic changes that glazed wares undergo as well. So it is a chemistry-of-pottery term, regardless of whether or not the pottery is glazed.
This Nixing teapot has been blessed by the kiln with a particularly lovely yaobian. A flash of rare yellow-gold rises from the pot’s base and licks like a flame up towards the spout. As you turn the pot to the other side, the unique yellow tones give way to the more familiar reddish-brown hues. When you hold the pot, you’ll notice the surface has a slightly sandy feel to it. Yet another unique feature!
Our Qinzhou Nixing Zhu Chu teapot is also well-made. It has a good pour and a nicely-fitting lid. The surface has a familiar, slightly sandy feel to it.
This teapot comes wrapped in a protective silk-fabric pouch with a drawstring closure, and packaged in a presentation box. 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!).
Qinzhou Nixing pottery is produced in Qinzhou city in China’s Guangxi province. It, along with Yixing Zisha, Jianshui and Rongchand make up China’s four famous types of pottery. Nixing is made from a mixture of mineral rich clays collected from the east and west banks of the Qinjiang river in Qinzhou. It is a smooth and dense clay, with good elasticity, which allows potters to shape the clay into a variety of shapes. These properties also make it a great clay to carve with detailed designs. Nixing pieces are formed on a potter’s wheel and kiln fired. Finished Nixing pieces can vary in color from bronze to reddish brown and even purple. All color differences are the result of the clay composition, kiln effects and finish polishing/burnishing.
Qinzhou Nixing teapots are well-suited for steeping Pu-erh and other hei cha, black tea, and oolong teas. Since they do not retain heat as long as Yixing pots, they can also be used to steep a few of the more robust green teas as well. A Nixing teapot that is intended for use with green tea or a light oolong should probably not be used for other types of tea, as the retention of flavor from those teas will overpower the green tea’s fresh, light flavor.
Like Yixing teapots, Nixing clay teapots are porous and 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.
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. 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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