Q & A of Yixing Zisha Purple Clay Teapots
-- George Wang, Ph.D., yixing.us(at)gmail.com
Anatomy of a Teapot
Q: Why Yixing Clay Teapots are the Best Tea Vessel for Tea Drinking?
Yixing clay teapots are unique in that they are both utensils, art and your pet at the same time.
It can enhance the flavor of the tea
It can serve as your pet or toy: you can rub it and it massage your hands and mind while enjoy the beauty of the art
Q: Do You Know How Much to Pay for a Yixing Teapot?
Yixing clay teapots are unique in that they are both art and utensils, and therefore considered "luxury" tea ware. If you plan to spend $50 or less, most likely you will end up in the first two categories -- "Chemical or None-Yixing Teapots". Following are the price range as stated in the Introduction to Yixing Zisha Clay Teapots:
Q: How Can You Tell If a Yixing Teapot is Real?
Close-up view. Notice the imperfection of a real person's skin
Mixed Sanded Clay
Q: How Can You Tell If a Yixing Teapot Is High Quality?
A: High quality Yixing teapots have high quality Yixing clay and good craftsmanship. They look beautiful. They should have all of the following:
1) of real Yixing Zisha clay
2) of high quality Yixing Zisha clay
3) of good craftsmanship - well made
4) beautiful and of artistic value
5) made individually, unique or only a few or very limited quantity (Avoid Mass produced and "Modern Commodity teapots")
Q: Why are Real Authentic and High Quality Yixing Clay so Important ?
You not only enjoy the shape and craftsmanship, but also the color, texture, and feel of the teapot as well. High quality clay teapots age and become more beautiful much more quickly as they are being used.
Q: What Kind of Clays are Good Yixing Clay?
Q: What are Mass produced and "Modern Commodity teapots"?
Q: Are Yixing Teapots Safe?
Q: How Old is my Yixing Teapot or How To Tell Old from New Yixing Clay Teapots?
By Tea Filter (inner hole of the spout). These are just rule of thumb - not absolute
Mesh hole - Ming dynasty or early Qing
Single hole - Qing dynasty
Net-like holes - Republic era or later (Some high quality made in Qing dynasty as well)
Tennis ball holes - 1970s
Q: What are Top Yixing Clay Teapots?
Q: Handmade vs Cookie-cutter?
This is a Qing dynasty teapot. Please see the radiant trace on the shoulder of the teapot. It tells you how the teapot was made by the artist.
Q: How important is Handmade?
This question is becoming much less meaningful as everyone claim his teapot is handmade. Instead, ask How many copies do you have for the same teapot.
Q: How do you judge whether a teapot is art?
If the more I look, the more I use, the more I like it, then it is art:)
Q: What "Zisha Appeal" looks like?
Be careful: semi-transparency can be artificially created with addition of Chemicals into the clay