Yixing

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OCTO
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:25 pm
Location: Penang, Malaysia

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:31 am

Mark-S wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:52 am
OCTO wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:38 am
You won't find good quality clays in the hands of junior potters. Those clays are reserved for the seniors who's workmanship is impeccable. Therefore, quality clay will always go hand in hand with good workmanship and an experienced pair of hands.
That's interesting. On teachat I read somewhere that during CR and green label era everybody got the same chance to work with excellent clay. So this is wrong in your opinion? :|
@Mark-S

Well, that’s not what I’ve understood and learnt from years of learning and collecting alongside senior collectors from my region. It doesn’t make sense to make available good clay that might risk getting ruined by sloppy craftsmanship in the hands of junior potters. I have seen rather sloppy work from green label era too.

Cheers!
Mark-S
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:49 am

@OCTO

Okay, thanks, I'll keep this in mind.
OCTO wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:31 am
I have seen rather sloppy work from green label era too.
And these works were made of bad clay? Or just not "GradeA"clay? It's difficult to get reliable information about this. I have also read that this F1 hype would be unsubstantiated, because the clays were not better than good modern ones, but at least that I cannot confirm. The clays of my F1 pots look superior to the clay of any good modern teapot (250€-400€ in Germany) I have seen in person so far. The modern clays often look lifeless to me.
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pantry
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:34 am
Location: California

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:24 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips! Yes, it’s a new pot. I literally just brewed one dark tea session (shu) because I figured I should experiment even if i’m sure I don’t want to devote a nice pot to shu ever. I didn’t expect it to season and stain so quickly!

It’s a bit hard to capture it with my phone camera, but here is one spot. There are a few like this around the pot. The bottom of the pot definitely has a noticeable tan line :lol:

I have those Chinese tea towels but i always thought they were for putting over the table to absorb water droplets. Didn’t know it was for wiping the pots... 😂
Attachments
Color before use under same lighting
Color before use under same lighting
67A7086F-2FA5-4B63-8E39-739723A54B35.jpeg (28.69 KiB) Viewed 363 times
6 sessions in (only 1 was shu)
6 sessions in (only 1 was shu)
4A02EDFE-7A31-4938-B192-420B522D1BA5.jpeg (85.62 KiB) Viewed 363 times
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Balthazar
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:04 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:46 pm

Mark-S wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:03 am
Could you please tell me what he means? I cannot speak Chinese and the translation is weird, so I don't know if it's helpful or not.
Image
In simplified Chinese: 补一下就好了啦

My idiomatic translation: "Just repair[/mend] it and it'll be fine". The 啦 is just a cute final particle...
Mark-S
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:05 pm

@Balthazar

So not helpful at all. :lol: Thanks
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Youzi
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: Shaxi, Yunnan, China
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:10 pm

Mark-S wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:49 am
OCTO

Okay, thanks, I'll keep this in mind.
OCTO wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:31 am
I have seen rather sloppy work from green label era too.
And these works were made of bad clay? Or just not "GradeA"clay? It's difficult to get reliable information about this. I have also read that this F1 hype would be unsubstantiated, because the clays were not better than good modern ones, but at least that I cannot confirm. The clays of my F1 pots look superior to the clay of any good modern teapot (250€-400€ in Germany) I have seen in person so far. The modern clays often look lifeless to me.
Define Good clay. Everyone is throwing around words like "good clay", "Bad clay", but I haven't seen anyone really mention what are their requirements for Good clay. There doesn't seem to be a consensus of "Good Clay" from the community. So at least you should define good clay for yourself, if there isn't a commonly accepted definition yet.
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Youzi
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: Shaxi, Yunnan, China
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:16 pm

pantry wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:24 pm
Thanks everyone for the tips! Yes, it’s a new pot. I literally just brewed one dark tea session (shu) because I figured I should experiment even if i’m sure I don’t want to devote a nice pot to shu ever. I didn’t expect it to season and stain so quickly!

It’s a bit hard to capture it with my phone camera, but here is one spot. There are a few like this around the pot. The bottom of the pot definitely has a noticeable tan line :lol:

I have those Chinese tea towels but i always thought they were for putting over the table to absorb water droplets. Didn’t know it was for wiping the pots... 😂
Image
Image
I cannot see what's your problem with this pot here. Where is the pot from, if I might ask?
If it stains at the bottom, then just don't keep it in tea or water, just put it on the towel or a dry part of the table, wipe off the bottom.
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pantry
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:34 am
Location: California

Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:37 pm

@Youzi There is no problem with the pot. It seasons well and fast. I merely asked for advice of how to raise a pot evenly. Bottom tan line cannot be helped. I keep my pot on a tea tray with strainer but ultimately it just doesn't get as much hot liquid as the rest, which I don't mind. Just making conversation :roll:
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Youzi
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Location: Shaxi, Yunnan, China
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:41 pm

pantry wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:37 pm
Youzi There is no problem with the pot. It seasons well and fast. I merely asked for advice of how to raise a pot evenly. Bottom tan line cannot be helped. I keep my pot on a tea tray with strainer but ultimately it just doesn't get as much hot liquid as the rest, which I don't mind. Just making conversation :roll:
You don't have to 'Raise' the pot. Just use it and keep it clean. don't shower it with Tea please, or use those brushes or any of those silly stuff. Just see how the natural patina develops.


Good clay and a Good pot should develop Patina really quickly. Patina is one attribute I'd consider as a good indicator of "good clay" and construction and firing.
Last edited by Youzi on Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mark-S
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:00 pm

Youzi wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:10 pm
Define Good clay. Everyone is throwing around words like "good clay", "Bad clay", but I haven't seen anyone really mention what are their requirements for Good clay. There doesn't seem to be a consensus of "Good Clay" from the community. So at least you should define good clay for yourself, if there isn't a commonly accepted definition yet.
Maybe that's why nearly everyone says that my teapots are made of bad clay. :D For me good clay is not mixed with harmful chemicals, it should look & feel nice and be at least a bit porous. Oh, and it should not smell of anything, make good tea and develop a patina after some time. That's my personal preference at least. Many modern or cheap teapots I own don't meet these requirements. They are glossy, not porous at all, feel weird and/or the clay looks dull and lifeless. Hopefully, this tells you exactly what I am looking for. It does not have to be a super rare clay or anything like that.
DailyTX
Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:43 pm
Location: Northern California

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:04 pm

Youzi wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:10 pm
Mark-S wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:49 am
OCTO

Okay, thanks, I'll keep this in mind.
OCTO wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:31 am
I have seen rather sloppy work from green label era too.
And these works were made of bad clay? Or just not "GradeA"clay? It's difficult to get reliable information about this. I have also read that this F1 hype would be unsubstantiated, because the clays were not better than good modern ones, but at least that I cannot confirm. The clays of my F1 pots look superior to the clay of any good modern teapot (250€-400€ in Germany) I have seen in person so far. The modern clays often look lifeless to me.
Define Good clay. Everyone is throwing around words like "good clay", "Bad clay", but I haven't seen anyone really mention what are their requirements for Good clay. There doesn't seem to be a consensus of "Good Clay" from the community. So at least you should define good clay for yourself, if there isn't a commonly accepted definition yet.
@Youzi +1
For pointing out that “good clay” and “bad clay” are such subjective terms. Over my short course of collection, I also learned that those two terms mean differently in the eyes of a potter and buyer.
Mark-S
Posts: 574
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: Germany

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:27 pm

I posted the export pot in the "Early tea pots II" group now. If anybody is interested in better photos of this pot...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/teapot2 ... 2/?app=fbl
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pantry
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:34 am
Location: California

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:42 pm

Mark-S wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:00 pm
Maybe that's why nearly everyone says that my teapots are made of bad clay. :D For me good clay is not mixed with harmful chemicals, it should look & feel nice and be at least a bit porous. Oh, and it should not smell of anything, make good tea and develop a patina after some time. That's my personal preference at least. Many modern or cheap teapots I own don't meet these requirements. They are glossy, not porous at all, feel weird and/or the clay looks dull and lifeless. Hopefully, this tells you exactly what I am looking for. It does not have to be a super rare clay or anything like that.
@Mark-S I feel for you. Would love to see more positive energy in tea threads.
I wouldn't discount modern pots completely. The high quality fully handmade ones don't look lifeless, but they won't be cheap.
Like what @OCTO said, it might be a good idea to invest in one confirmed authentic pot with clay that knowledgeable and experienced users considered good quality. You then can compare them for yourself (and share with us your reasonings!) It could very well be that you prefer the cheaper pots you acquired--you be the judge! Even a saying like "quick development of patina" is not helpful, as quick is a relative term. The type of teas being brewed is also a factor. Another reason I avoided discussing the quality of my pot here. Where I got it from is irrelevant. But I welcome advices on how to treat my tea ware, and what tea might be worth testing the pot on.
Speaking of which, @OCTO, I was told that duanni may not be suitable for Oolong, but I will give it a try per your suggestion :P
Teachronicles
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:13 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:59 pm

For me, good clay comes purely down to its affect on tea. For me, in my experience, with yixing wares ranging from LQER all the way up to modern, including f1 60s, 70s, 80s, and white label, excluding laser label. I have found that most prominent effect I notice is textural, with actually a modern zhuni being the most pronounced and then 60s and 70s hongni. Some zini clays I've found to be close to 60s, 70s, hongni, but the effect being more thickening than smoothing. Based on this, I look at the clays which make very nice tea and inspect their visual characteristics. I think it is general consensus (is that even possible in the yixing world? :lol:) that the clay of the earlier f1 eras were more pure, and higher quality than the later eras. If we believe that, we can look at their texture and physical clay character to establish some sort of idea of what a good clay might look like.

Idk really how to explain it, other than it just takes a certain amount of experience and seeing, handling, and using pots, but you can get an eye for whether a pots clay is good or not. I guess a very easy example is look at F1 white label hongni and 60s hongni, they are visually quite different, and once you have one of both, and brew with them, brewing performance (textural effect by my definition), you can see that white label is clearly inferior.
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Youzi
Posts: 304
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: Shaxi, Yunnan, China
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Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:07 pm

Teachronicles wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:59 pm
For me, good clay comes purely down to its affect on tea. For me, in my experience, with yixing wares ranging from LQER all the way up to modern, including f1 60s, 70s, 80s, and white label, excluding laser label. I have found that most prominent effect I notice is textural, with actually a modern zhuni being the most pronounced and then 60s and 70s hongni. Some zini clays I've found to be close to 60s, 70s, hongni, but the effect being more thickening than smoothing. Based on this, I look at the clays which make very nice tea and inspect their visual characteristics. I think it is general consensus (is that even possible in the yixing world? :lol:) that the clay of the earlier f1 eras were more pure, and higher quality than the later eras. If we believe that, we can look at their texture and physical clay character to establish some sort of idea of what a good clay might look like.

Idk really how to explain it, other than it just takes a certain amount of experience and seeing, handling, and using pots, but you can get an eye for whether a pots clay is good or not. I guess a very easy example is look at F1 white label hongni and 60s hongni, they are visually quite different, and once you have one of both, and brew with them, brewing performance (textural effect by my definition), you can see that white label is clearly inferior.
Basically F1 clay before 1960 were traditionally, manually processed. F1 clays from 1960-1980 were modern processed, but without additives. (except blue, green, etc pots) after 1980 F1 and everyone else started adding additives to the clay, Like Barium Carbonate to various degrees, and also manganese oxide to Zini, and sometimes Iron oxide to Hongni. From then on more and more pots got more and more additives and the processing deviated further from traditional processing. Also, F1 is only Fired once, from what I know, compared to the common 2x firing of modern teapots.

So based on processing there is 3 "era" pre-1960, 1960-1980, post-1980.
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