steanze wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:45 pm
Youzi wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:44 am
faj wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:34 pm
I noticed MudandLeaves posted about a very small batch of clay they just processed. Link below.
https://www.mudandleaves.com/teatime-bl ... -skin-clay
Their claim is this is Lipini, a type of lüni which is found in small amounts in Tian Qing Ni clay deposits. In my very limited readings, I have found no claims that Tian Qing Ni was still being mined, or that there was an even more elusive clay being mined with it. I would be curious to know what more knowledgeable and experienced people make of this claim.
Aside from how little of this clay they have extracted from the several hundreds of kg of Tian Qing Ni they have on hand (in itself quite a claim to me it seems), they do not seem to be making any claim on its effect on tea, or even recommended tea pairings for that matter.
Youzi, in your blog, you had information about Tian Qing Ni. Maybe you could comment on this?
Insted of gut feelings and opinions, I'd prefer to share the facts I know about Li Pi Ni instead.
There are two things refferred to as Li Pi Ni:
I. The actual raw ore
- Li Pi Ni (梨皮泥) is a sub-type of Lüni.
- Lüni is an ore mainly found in the Huang Long Shan mining area. That ore is also referred to as "Benshan Lüni".
- Li Pi Ni is Lüni from Da Shui Tan (大水潭) the ancient mine used during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It mainly produced Zini (zini, Qinghuini, Tianqingni) Lüni(In this case Li Pi Ni) and Tuanni. Currently it is a small pond, because a 100+ years ago it got flooded with ground water.
- Tian Qing Ni and Li Pi Ni is always fused together.
- Da Shui Tan is at the south east side of Huang Long Shan, on the other side of the road. (You can see it on the map in my article). Because DST is a lake and it has buildings around it except for the side where HLS is, so Mining is "not possible".
- However there are two ways to access DST material nowdays:
1. Because nature isn't defined by Human structures probably there is DST material on the HLS side, which is shown in Zhu Zewei's book. Also, because HLS resumed mining since 2010 there are official ways to aquire HLS material from the Goverment owned Mining company, who has a monopoly over the mine.
2. The houses around DST. There were news of buildings collapsing because Illegal mining activity at the houses near DST (people dug out the foundation). So the clay obtained this way are sold in personal circles.
II. a kind of texture and look on the teapot, when it is finished
- basically a teapot with a coarse surface can be called Li Pi (Zini, Zhuni, Hongni, Tuanni etc.)
- which can be obtained easily by making the ore dust 30-50 Mu (目) or adding larger chunks of Nenni/Duanni
Thanks for the interesting information Youzi! I still don't know whether I've seen Li Pi Ni teapots, because I wouldn't know how to recognize if a grainy duanni pot is Li Pi Ni or something else.
Personally, I am already happy to find good quality Ben Shan Lv Ni. I have seen many modern pots supposedly made of be Ben Shan Lv Ni, but I have encountered very few if any that are truly worthy of the name. I don't mean to say that the vendors are lying about where the clay is from. Maybe the clay of the modern "BenShanLv Ni" pots I have seen really is from huanglongshan. However, those pots lack what made Ben Shan Lv ni so sought after, the delicate jade-like transparency and smoothness. It is hard to capture in pictures, but here is an attempt:
So when someone claims that a certain clay is "Ben Shan Lv Ni", or "Zhaozhuang Zhuni", or other famous clays, the question I ask is: does this clay show the properties that made it famous? There is the same type of risk that one encounters when buying "Bing Dao" or "Lao Banzhang". One could find poorly processed taidi that really comes from Banzhang, but does not show the properties of the region. If one wants a tea that really shows why those regions became famous, it is impossible to find it for a cheap price unless you have very good personal connections.
The only way to know if a pot is made of a specific sub clay type is to see the raw ore of which it was processed, know the mesh size, know how it was processed, know the exact firing temperature, and know that no reduction firing was going on.
So basically track down the rock, and make a private order from a Potter to process that ore for you and make a teapot out of it, based on your specification. Then you'd have a benchmark to compare to.
What I think would be tremendously helpful is to be able to buy firing discs.
Commenting on the picture, are you sure it is pure Benshan Lüni? Maybe it's the lighting, or it was partly reduction fired, but 90% of Benshan Lüni has a shade of Beige, light yellowish, or whiteish color. Then some more rare kinds, especially from Baoshan, can have more black spots and and be orangeish, reddish color.
Is that pot low or high fired? Seems more similar to Qing Duan Ni (青段泥) with good patina? Or could also be a Lüni mixed with other clays, since Lüni is notoriously difficult to fire properly.
Could you share more pictures of the inside and outside? Maybe the lid, as I guess it is less stained?