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Shipiao, Zhuni

Shipiao, Zhuni

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Partial Hand-made・Zhuni (vermillion clay)・260ml

Shipiao teapots have a history that traces back 500 years to the Ming Dynasty. The form has changed little in the intervening years, staying true to its iconic, pyramid shape. The form has long served as the standard for evaluating craftsmanship and ability of aspiring ceramicists, and as an instrument to evaluate and judge a tea’s quality.

Our latest collaboration with Chinese artist, Huang Ya Ping, is a variation on this tradition. Together, we designed a pot that is slightly elongated, creating a clean silhouette with a modern aesthetic. The result is a pot that is friendly, easy to use, and cute as a button.

These teapots are formed from one of four porous zisha clay bodies. This Zhuni Shipiao uses a true vermillion zisha sourced from a Dingshan-based zisha production facility that Song has an eight year relationship with. Because zhuni has a higher shrinkage rate than other clays, the size and capacity of this teapot is a few degrees smaller than the others in this collection.

Unlike most pottery that is thrown and trimmed on a potters wheel, zisha pots are formed using wooden paddles and small rolling pins. Ya Ping began these pots by pressing the clay into molds to create the initial shape before finishing the handle, spout and lid by hand. Zisha has a long husbandry with tea preparation. Used with just one tea type, each pot is seasoned over time and use, absorbing the oils from the steeping tea and creating a unique terroir.

At approximately 260ml, these teapots are perfectly balanced, with a sweet and gentle grace. The wall thickness is proportional to the size and capacity of the pot, and fourteen outlets paired with a perfectly shaped spout evacuates water quickly and evenly. On the bottom, three little feet elevate the pot’s profile. These too, were of our design, and remind us of the little toe beans on our kittens, Pegasus and Moss.

Usage and care: Thoroughly rinse any particles of sand from the interior before use. Dedicate one tea type per pot. Eventually, a tea pot will be seasoned with the particular character of a tea. Hand-wash only without soap or detergent.

Dimensions: 88mm tall, 75mm diameter, 260ml capacityArtist: 黃亞萍


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