• Dahongpao Zhuni: Picking and Aging

    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.
  • No.4 Mine Benshan Lüni

    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.
  • Tiaosha and Pear Skin Zhuni

    Where does Pear Skin Zhuni come from? How is this bumpy texture created?

    Sometimes marketed as being an exotic variety of zhuni clay, or old storage “lao” zhuni clay, pear skin zhuni is produced through a very old technique that is still practiced in Yixing today, called 调砂 Tiaosha.

  • Seasoning an Yixing Teapot

    One of the first things that you will read about Yixing Teapots is that they “season” with use.

  • Don't Boil that Teapot!

    Before first using a new Yixing Teapot, there are a few short steps that should be taken, and a few simple rules to follow to keep the pot in good condition for future tea sessions.
  • Yixing Teapot Pairing or Which Tea for which teapot?

    We always recommend trying a new teapot with as many different kinds of tea as possible. You may be surprised by what goes well with a certain kind of clay.

  • The Sound of an Yixing Teapot

    Can you tell if an Yixing Teapot is real by banging the lid against the body? What does a real Yixing Teapot sound like? Should zhuni ring like a bell?
  • 4 Famous Clays of China

    In 1953, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Chinese government classified Four Major Clays, they are Yixing Zisha, Qinzhou Nixing Clay, Jianshui Zitao, and Chongqing Rongchang Clay.

    Some of these clays, such as zisha (Yixing Clay), have enjoyed more attention. Each has its own history and uses. Below is a very brief description outlining the basic history, differences between these four famous clays, and what they are most often used for in China. 

  • What is Heini? Wuhui and Black Yixing Teapots

    (Originally published March 26, 2020) If you’re looking at a “Heini” 黑泥 (Black Clay) Yixing Teapot, chances are you’re looking at a teapot that h...
  • Tian Qing Ni Part 2: From Clay to Teapot

    After being shaped by the potter, Tian Qing Ni teapots go through the same final steps in production as other Yixing Teapots. They are first left to dry out thoroughly before being fired in the kiln. "Tian Qing Ni" can be translated as azure or sky-blue clay. It might seem like a strange name for a clay that is perhaps best described as being “dark liver" in appearance in finished teapots. The name makes more sense when you see the raw ore and unfired clay.
  • Tian Qing Ni: From Raw Ore to Clay

    Now that the first batch of Tian Qing Ni Yixing Teapots has emerged from the kiln, we decided to write a short follow up to last October’s article, this time discussing the steps in the process for turning raw Tian Qing Ni ore into usable clay for teapots. Tian Qing Ni is a rare subcategory of purple Yixing clay (zini), prized for its beauty, ease of shaping and firing, and for improving the flavour and aroma of tea. 
  • Small Shuipings are Coming!

    This year will be the first time we order a custom mould for our own line of Yixing Teapots. In recognition that many of our customers prefer smaller Yixing Teapots, we have ordered a mould for dicaoqing shuipings in a sub-100ml capacity. The design will recreate the classic shuiping silhouette in the studio's excellent original ore dicaoqing, a versatile zini (purple clay).