• 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). 
  • New Year, New Clay

    Anticipating the end of his supply of dicaoqing clay, Lin Hanpeng had purchased a large amount of raw dicaoqing ore mined from Mine No. 5 in Huanglongshan. The raw ore was processed into clay and then stored for ageing in late 2018.
  • Benshan Duanni or Benshan Lüni?

    Within the category "duanni," there is also the clay called “Benshan Duanni” 本山段泥. Another well-known clay within the “duanni” category is Benshan Lüni 本山绿泥. Although both are yellow clays mined from the same mountain, they differ in origin, composition and character.
  • Some Notes on Yixing Clay Scarcity and Pricing

    “If clay x is so rare, it should cost $1000s for a teapot made of this clay.”

    No, usually not. While you will not be able to buy an authentic zhuni teapot for $25, you also do not need to pay $1000 for one either. The price difference between more common and less common clays can usually vary between  $10-100 or so between teapots (all other things being equal). The rarity of clay is not the biggest influence on price in the zisha market, labour and the skill/reputation of the potter usually are. Fully handmade teapots are more expensive than half handmade teapots, and a fully handmade teapot by a master, even more so.