With the advent of gas and electric kilns, wood kilns, with their more labour and resource intensive requirements, were increasingly seen as impractical and obsolete. By the 1970s and 1980s gas and electric kilns replaced wood kilns in the industry in Nixing. While gas and electric kilns still dominate the industry, there has been a recent rekindling of interest in the traditional wood firing process. The kiln described below is the one used to fire our wood fired Nixing teapots and is one of less than a handful of large wood kilns still operating in Nixing today.
Lin Hanpeng prides himself on his clay, the work he does in selecting the raw ore, and processing and aging it himself. For the past month, he has been sending us photos of the ore he gathered nearly 3 years ago, as he gets closer to completing his latest batch of teapots – Zhuni dahongpao shuipings. Lin is very excited to see the result of firing this clay, convinced it’s some of the best dahongpao he has processed yet.
The No.4 Mine in Huanglong Mountain opened in 1972 and closed in 1997. The mine sits on the southwest side of the mountain. The mine penetrates deeper than most into the mountain, in some spots reaching as deep as 80m. A report from 1987 shows that only 0.012% of the ore mined at the time contained lüni.