more introduction about yixing teapot
1¡¢Place and history
Yixing teapots are made in Yixing town ,where is situated in the extreme south of Jiangsu Province China to the west of Lake Taihu, an area situated 120 miles northwest of Shanghai. It is a perfect exmple of a one industry town, and that industry is ceramics. For lovers of ceramics, it is today probably the most delightful and photogenic location in China,so it is known as the "pottery capital"of China.
Yixing ware teapots have a very long history that dates back to the Song dynasty(960-1279),and flourishing in the Ming and Qing dynasty(1573-1911).many emperors also very like it and used it on china history.as early as 1635,netherlands businessman shiped yixing tea pots into netherlands,they were followed by businessman from the United Kingdom who shipped them to England and other european counties along with tea from china ,the europeans were quick to accept this unique and small teapot.and they were soon considered to be prize possession*s and heirlooms.one such teapot sets in a state museum in denmark,which was used by the king of denmark in 1674.now many upper class society family,they from usa,uk,canada,hongkong,taiwan,japan, will warmly receive their esteemed guest with this Yixing teapot set.
2¡¢Material and characteristics
Yixing ware is made of unglazed clay. Because clay is a porous material, the ceramic absorbs a very small amount of tea with each brewing. After prolonged use, the Yixing pot will develop a certain patina that retains some of the taste, scent and color of tea and that also lends the teapot itself an unusually attractive luminescent quality. It is for this reason one should never wash an Yixing teapot. After use, it should simply be rinsed out with fresh water.
Yixing ware teapots are made by a very special material called"zisha"clay.
Zisha, or purple clay, from which Yixing ware is made, is found throughout the hilly southern area of the Yixing region. The particular qualities of this clay substance set the Yixing apart from other unglazed earthenware teapots. Geologists have pinpointed the origins of Zisha in the area compressed sedimentary lake deposits.
there are actually three different varieties of Zisha. The most common of
these are the Zini or rose-brown clays. The other two more rare clays are know as Banshanlu or creamy white to light-brown clays and Zhuni or red clays. Chemically, all are composed primarily of quartz, kaolin and mica and contain high amounts of iron oxide, which lends the clays their purple-red color. Zisha clays are also fairly sandy.
Recognized by artisans and literati centuries ago, these characteristics of the Zisha or purple clays help to make Yixing pots especially well-suited for brewing tea. Excavations have shown that the composition and structure of the clays used in making authentic Yixing teapots today closely resemble those used in pots from the 1500s and later.
Yixing tea pot each piece is shaped by hand on a potter wheel and left unglazed, both because it makes better tea and because doing so allows the color of the clay to shine through. Highly prized for its porous nature, which is excellent at absorbing the flavor of tea, Purple sand or clay does not really in purple color only, it depends on the layering from the ground, different layers has different color, Yixing clay occurs naturally in the characteristic colors: light buff,
cinnabar red and purplish brown. it can have many natural color after fired.
Other colors are created by mixing these three clay. A principal factor
in determining the depth of the color is the concentration of iron in the clay.
zisha clay has very special characteristics chemistry composition and texture,a 4% 0f the water absorption rate,a very low thermal conductivity,and other unique qualities,it already is confirmed and is received that zisha clay is best raw materials for made teapot in whold world. When properly refined and fired to a high (but sub-porcelain) temperature, it produces a type of pottery that is
slightly absorbent. Legend has it that if you have prepared tea in an Yixing teapot many times, you can reach a point where by adding boiled water alone you can make tea because the teapot itself holds enough of the tea flavour. the characteristics of yixing teapots as follow:
(1) One of the special attributes of Yixing teapots is the ability to retain heat. Small pores produced in the clay during firing retain both heat and flavor, and the low shrinkage rate of Yixing clay allows the skillful potter to make a closely-fitting lid that inhibits oxidation thus heightening the tea flavor.
Yixing tea pot can keep tea's heat,primary colour,aroma and taste.this is proved by the test:the fine qualities of tea will been retain for 5 days if you use yixing teapot.but it only can retain 3 days if you using other ceramics teapots.
(2) The Yixing teapot is free of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic materials. Yixing ware is unlike other unglazed earthenware teapots. The Yixing teapot has a
fine and solid texture, a four percent water absorption rate, a very low thermal conductivity, and a double air hole design which enhances the pot brewing properties. The principal standards for evaluating a teapot brewing quality are the color of the tea soup produced and the level of tea phenol, caffeine, and aminophylline. The performance of the Yixing teapot is far superior to that of the standard teapot with respect to all four of these criteria. Not only are the Yixing teapots beautiful and unique works of art, but also, they are excellent brewing vessels. in fact,yixing teapots exceeds the strict standards imposed by china¡¯s pottery reserch institute and are also approved by the usa"fda".to ensure this high standard of quality,
(3) after firing, Yixing tea pot is solid and impermeable, yet porous enough to "breathe". A Yixing teapot enhances the tea brewed in it with respect to colour, smell, and taste. Its walls seem to absorb the tea and keeps fragrance. In summer, it keeps tea overnight without spoiling. With hot tea inside, it does not scald the hand with purple sand being a slow heat-conductor. But in winter, it may serve as a handwarmer and may be left on a low fire to make certain types of tea which need simmering. To the Chinese tea connoisseur, it is the "ideal teapot".
Yixing tea pot is generally marked by its simplicity and exquisite craftsmanship. It is also appreciated for its practical utility.
the colour of yixing ware are only the natural colour of zisha clay or mixtures of zisha clay.there are 3 kinds of main colour .there are also other colours such as mauve,begouia red,peor yellow,royal purple,forest green,jetblock,etc.these colour make up many beautiful and unique desige.all of the yixing teapot are shaped by hand on a potter's wheel,What makes the Yixing tea pot all the more attractive is the tasty designs it bears. Artisans cut or incise on the unburnt bodies pictures of birds and fish, flowers and animals, Chinese characters and seal marks all in the traditional style, thus turning utensils of practical use into works of art with national features.
one of the most distinctive features of the Yixing teapot is its chop mark. As early as 16th century the artisans marked their pots with clearly inscribed characters or, later, stamped them with her personal chop mark or seals bearing their names on each piece. This tradition continues today and serves as a reminder
of every teapot high quality and craftsmanship.It¡¯s Another reason is,
Since exporting the purple sand from China has been prohibited by the local Chinese government, all Yixing teapots are hand crafted by both Yixing's local teapot makers who produce average quality teapots and by the teapot artists who produce high quality teapots. We can find a chop mark indicating the creator's name at the bottom and inside lid of each Yixing teapot, some are also on the handle. Since this rare purple sand is very limited, once it is gone, that means no more purple sand can be found to produce teapots. This what making the Yixing teapots so popular among the collectors. Especially the older or even the antique Yixing teapots which had been used and had absorbed the tea aroma for many years, those are most wanted by Yixing teapot collectors, of course it would cost much more money to obtain one. If a Yixing teapot made by a well-known artist, it may cost a fortune, just as if a painting painted by a well-known artist. Teapot
collectors enjoying Yixing teapots as much as those who enjoy collecting paintings as a piece of art.
In this century, the Yixing pots have won gold medals at such international assemblies as the 1926 Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Celebration and the International Expositions in Leipzig and Liege in the 1930s.
a small pot reflect refined artistic style for literature,china calligraphy,drawing,carre and sculpture, etc.many famous person in china history very liked them and collect them as art treasures,or bought them as high grade gifts. if the yixing teapot was made by one well-know artist ,it's price for sale is very high.highest price of the pot is USD70,000 that was saled in Macau auction meeting with was made by gu jingzhou in 1995. Collecting teapots has become a fashionable pastime now.
Please read more articles for know purple clay tea pot if you have interesting.