Friday, 7 July 2017

Characteristics of a good teapot

Set of mangosteen teapots
Teapot is used to brew tea, it is an essential equipment to have if you are interested in the art of tea drinking. If you possess a good teapot, it certainly brings you a lot of pleasure in your pursue of tea art culture and enrich your life through endless sessions of tea drinking. It is life time passion.

If you want a teapot just for tea drinking purpose, you need not spend a lot of money to look for the special one. A good teapot can fulfill this function. You can make tea from it, enjoy your tea and at the same time admire the artistic aspects associated with it; such as its shape, clay, colour and texture. But how to select a good teapot? Generally, there are a few things to look for in selecting a good teapot to make tea.

First on the list is the workmanship. A good teapot is professionally made and every detail (from the lid to the handle) is accurately/ proportionately executed by the potter. When you look at the teapot, it pleases you, all your senses come alive. This is the magic of good workmanship.

Second is the clay, an important factor for good teapots. A good potter is very particular about the clay he uses to make the teapot. Good clay will enhance the beauty of the teapot. Not only it is pleasing to the eye, the clay has to be clean and not tarnished after use. If the teapot is covered with muddy stuff, most likely it has been treated to make it look old and valuable. As teapots are used to brew tea, cleanliness is of paramount importance.

Third is form which can be subjective as it depends on individual's taste and preference. Form means the shape of teapots which can be round, square segmented or any shape that mimic things of nature. If workmanship is good, the form can further be enhanced through the skills and artistic talents of the potters.  Very rarely one will find a teapot with good clay and form but lousy workmanship. A good teapot coming out from a renown potter often possesses these qualities.

If you want a teapot that is worth collecting and at the same time functional (means brewing tea occasionally), then you may consider a teapot made by some known potter. It need not be a grand master in the trade. A potter who has a bit of fame is sufficient. He may be a trainee or a assistant craft-master or even a craftsman. As long as you know the person who made the teapot, it is something to treasure as it is his creation. In this case, the bigger the name, the more costly is the teapot. Also beware of fakes as there are a lot of people making a fortune of selling fake teapots. Here I means the potters are not the ones who made the teapots. Rather, people are using big names to enhance the value of the teapots.

Collecting good teapots is no easy task. It needs years of experience and costs lots of money and obviously plenty of frustrations.

Below are some examples of good teapots.

By a renown potter
By a granf master
Potter unknown
Supposedly by Shao Dahen

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