Tie One On: The Prequel

Recently I made a post about adding a decorative string to your favorite yi xing teapot(s). But not until I was browsing a teapot book today did I realize how far back the teapot string tradition goes. One of the most famous teapots in China, the oldest known intact pot made with yi xing's renowned zi sha (purple sand) clay, was excavated in 1965 from the tomb of the Ming Dynasty eunuch Wu Jing. If you look closely, you'll notice that this 500-year-old specimen (known as the Wu Jing teapot) includes a tiny loop on the handle for attaching a string.

The original Wu Jing teapot
As it happens, we sell a modern version of the Wu Jing pot, executed in excellent quality zi sha clay by the highly regarded ceramic artist Zhou Xiao Qin. She faithfully included the little loop on her pot, too. If you're ever fortunate enough to own one of these pots you really must tie a string on it!

Zhou Xiao Qin's rendition of the Wu Jing pot
If you have a more contemporary sensibility, Zhou Xiao Qin also made a version of the Wu Jing pot with a handle on the side instead of the historically accurate bridge handle. If you prefer this design you're in good company: it's Imperial Tea Court Teamaster Roy Fong's everyday teapot for pu er! He says that with regular use the highly absorbent clay quickly turns a glossy dark brown, and he also likes the generous bowl shape that gives large pu er leaves lots of room to unfurl and interact with the water.

Zhou Xiao Qin's adaptation of the Wu Jing pot with a side handle