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Shipiao, Zi Ni

Shipiao, Zi Ni

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Partial Hand-made・Zi Ni・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. Shipiao has long served as the standard for evaluating the craftsmanship and ability of aspiring potters, and as an instrument to evaluate and judge a tea’s quality.

This collaboration with Chinese artist, Huang Ya Ping, is a variation on this traditional Shipiao form. Together, we designed a pot that is slightly elongated, with a clean silhouette and modern aesthetic. The resulting pot is friendly, easy to use, and cute as a button.

These teapots are formed from one of several porous zisha clay bodies. Zini is one of the darkest of these ores, a deep brown color with purple undertones rising to its burnished surface.

Unlike most pottery that is thrown and trimmed on a potter’s 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 clays have 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 petit Shipiao teapots are perfectly balanced and gently graceful. The wall thickness is proportional to the size and capacity of the pot, and fourteen outlets paired with a perfectly shaped spout evacuate 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: 86mm tall, 80mm diameter, 260ml capacityArtist: 黃亞萍


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