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Zhengshantang x Zhangye

To taste a cup of good tea

Three factors are inseparable: water temperature, amount of tea, and brewing time.In addition to the key "Tea ware" that affects the taste of tea, there are also "utensils". There are thousands of utensils for making tea, including glass, porcelain and pottery. For most people, porcelain and glass are the most convenient tea utensils. They have small pores and do not absorb water.They can restore the most original taste of tea soup, which is very helpful for learning tea. Of course, the most important thing is that the price is cheap, you can buy it for hundreds or even tens of dollars.

Yixing Zisha tea set has the characteristics of purple-red color, fine texture, strong plasticity and good permeability. After molding, it is fired at a high temperature of 1150 °C. The double air holes inside the Zisha teapot make the Zisha tea set have good air permeability.Because "pottery" has large pores and high water absorption, it has the effect of softening water quality. Even the taste of the tea soup brewed by a good pot and a bad pot is very different. And it also contains rich and profound tea culture connotation, both practical value and ornamental value.The most famous is the Zisha teapot in Yixing, Jiangsu, China. It is developed from traditional folk handicrafts. It is loved by people for its unique material and wonderful and diverse shapes. Different mud materials, different grades, and different shapes all affect the price of a pot. In addition to the vermilion clay that we can easily get started with, we would like to take you to a deeper understanding of purple sand and appreciate the more beautiful clay-painted teapots.

Because "pottery" has large pores, high water absorption, and has the effect of softening water quality. Even the taste of tea soup brewed by a good pot and a bad pot is very different. But in addition to its practical function of making tea, its aesthetic value is to a greater extent, it pays attention to the beauty of restraint, coquettishness, and restraint. Most of the purple sand works in the early years were not decorated, and a plain purple sand ware can be used as an independent aesthetic subject. However, the purple sand decoration has always been accompanied by the purple sand craft. From plain plain body to partial decoration, to glazing, gilding, tin-wrapping, inlaying jade, colored mud painting, etc., at the end of Qing Dynasty, due to the participation of literati, it changed to calligraphy, painting, compilation and engraving. Decorative means, making utensils full of scholarly temperament.

Different mud materials, different grades, and different vessel shapes all affect the price of a pot. In addition to the easy-to-get Zhuni, we also want to bring you an in-depth understanding of Zisha and appreciate more beautiful clay-painted teapots.

What is purple clay painting?

Purple sand clay painting decoration is to make use of the different color characteristics of purple sand mud, use mud as ink, and based on traditional Chinese painting techniques, use tools such as knives and pens to paint, shape, and carve on the purple sand embryo, depending on the thickness of the mud. Different from the mud color, to show the charm and artistic conception of traditional Chinese brush and ink.To put it simply, it is to use a brush dipped in mud, paint on the purple sand pottery, or pot, or flowerpot, and then fire it in a kiln after the pottery is dry. The difficulty itself, the combination and firing of the mud and the body, and the use of the thickness of the far and near mud directly determine the virtual and real effect of the picture, and the "sluggishness" of the mud itself increases the difficulty of creating a vivid and virtual picture, which needs to be fully mastered by the creator. Mud properties can only be achieved by being familiar with water and using tools skillfully.

Purple clay painting first appeared in the reigns of Yongzheng and Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. The person who used this technique was a master of purple clay, Yang Jichu. According to historical documents, he was good at making pots and was also good at clay painting. His mud-painted landscape "Snow River Waiting to Cross" is now in the Nanjing Museum, and the mud-painted pen holder is in the Suzhou Museum. Perhaps due to the great difficulty of purple clay painting decoration and the high requirements for the artist's cultural and artistic literacy, the traditional skill of purple clay painting decoration has not been widely spread.

Drawing and forming on the clay embryo

Drawing and forming on the clay embryo

Dip purple clay for coloring

Dip purple clay for coloring

Detailing with small tools

Detailing with small tools

Painting finished firing molding

Painting finished firing molding

The above is the clay painting process of Zhang Ye's work "Hidden Mountain"


Zheng Zhiqing 张志清

Senior arts and crafts artist.
 Master of Chinese traditional crafts.
Known as the first person of Chinese purple sand clay painting

The reform and opening up has given great impetus and development opportunities to zisha crafts, and several schools of  Yixing Zisha Artists Have Emerged, Zhang Zhiqing is one of  the best.Through decades of study and exploration, Mr. Zhang Zhiqing has rejuvenated the color mud pile painting technique that has been silent for more than two hundred years. Zhang Zhiqing was born in Yixing, Jiangsu. His ancestral business was a "Small Kiln Household" that produced daily-use pottery. He relied on his own production and management to make a living. He suffered a lot when he was young. Working as a glaze worker in a painted pottery factory gave him a deep understanding of materials, and helping others restore Yang Jichu's Works allowed him to see the direction to pursue in craftsmanship. His training gave him the potential to create.Zhang Zhiqing was engaged in clay painting without any Inheritance. He Liked Calligraphy And Painting In His Early Years And Had A Certain Foundation In Art. However, Purple Sand clay painting is not simply transplanting calligraphy or paintings onto pots, but requires a combination of  brushes, mud, purple sand pottery blanks, and kiln fire. Of mutual combination. Mr. Zhang Zhiqing created the "Colored Mud Painting" of  purple sand, so that the mud can become colorful in the firing of  the kiln fire. Secondly, he created "Fine Clay Painting". In his works, the faces Of  People Smaller Than Mung Beans Have Distinct Features And Rich Expressions. The Hair Of Animals Is Not Messy, And The landscape is full of  vitality. Breathtaking,his works are literati works, which are extremely beautiful and influential in expressive force, with profound skills and profound artistic conception. What is gratifying is that Zhang Zhiqing has not only brought back the brilliance of  the skill of colored clay painting, but also spread and carried forward what he has learned and thought. So far, he has taught more than 50 apprentices.His Daughter, Zhang Ye, also inherited the mantle of  her father's generation and became an artist of today's purple sand clay painting.


Zhangye 张烨

National arts and crafts artist

Zhang Ye grew up in a family of Zisha pottery artists since he was a child. Influenced by his father Zhang Zhiqing, he fell in love with this craft from the bottom of his heart. After graduating from university, he followed his father to learn purple sand clay painting skills, and then entered Nanjing Normal University for further studies in fine arts, and achieved good results.From Zhang Ye's works, we can see not only the inheritance of skills from generation to generation, but also the difference in his artistic style from his father's. She excavates the elegant and gentle beauty in traditional culture from a female perspective, and her works are delicate, elegant and delicate. Moreover, as a new generation, she is also making various exploration attempts, making this skill full of more possibilities and imagination. Chinese, classical, romantic, even cartoon, and all themes from the world can be used to boldly create works with warmth and emotion.

In September of this year, we finally reached a cooperative relationship with these two famous purple sand artists in Yixing, and we can make the pot you want at a very reasonable price.

If you have an in-depth understanding of Zisha teapots, we accept full customization, and you can put forward your ideas from clay, vessel shape to pattern, but the price will fluctuate according to the complexity. If you just want a teapot just for you, we can engrave your name/logo on the teapot for you to make it unique. We can provide you with a certificate for free if you need it.Since all purple clay teapots need to be made on the spot, the preparation and production period is about 30 days, please know before placing an order.


You can engrave the exclusive mark you want on the pot


You can propose the pattern you want, and the designer and master will customize the exclusive pattern for you

Zisha Mud

Different colors of mud for your choice


Classic and modern teapots

Zisha teapot making process

The process of making a purple clay teapot is quite complicated and the process is very long.

1. Select zisha mud:
Cultivate the soil for half a year. Wash the hard lumpy mud excavated from the mine, put it in the open air to weather, smash it, remove the impurities in it, and then grind it and sieve it. Soak in water for more than half a year, take out the mud and beat it with a wooden hammer, cut into pieces and seal them, and store them in the kiln for later use

2. Draft the composition:
Determine the pot-shaped structure and draw the pattern

3. Kneading and molding:
There are many molding methods for purple sand, such as manual molding, grouting molding, drawing molding, machine molding and printing blank molding. First beat the mud into pieces, knead the body, then dig out the foot, open the surface, spread the shape of the pot evenly, and finally open the mouth hole, add the handle, mouth, cover, etc.

4. Trimming:
The surface of the purple clay teapot is not glazed, and the finished blank must be carefully trimmed to make the outline of the vessel full, with clear lines and clear texture, so as to meet the production requirements of round pearls and smooth jade, and integrate into a whole. Some utensils also need to be decorated .

5. Print the stamp:
The mouth of the pot faces down, and a small wooden post is used to strike a seal on the bottom of the pot.

6. Firing:
The blank should be dried in the shade for two or three days to remove the moisture in the embryo, otherwise it will be easy to burn and burst during firing. After drying in the shade, it is placed in a sagger and fired in a kiln.

7. Polishing and waxing:
Waxing is a unique process of Zisha. Painted purple clay wares need to be fired twice.