Argile de Yi Xing
Since the Neolithic era, people have been making tools and utilitarian vessels with this material, but by the end of the 16th century the crafts of Yixing reached their highest level of refinement. The ironoxide content of this clay is particularly strong. Even after being fired at 1200°C in the kiln, the items retain their porous nature, to the extent that conoisseurs often say that the teapot "breathes"! According to Mandarin Chinese scholars, there are three conditions that must be fulfilled, reflecting the quality of the pottery: - its shape - its crystal-clear sound (mind you, every teapot has got its own particular sound!) - its smoothness to the touch The finest teapots are the handmade "pièce unique", works of art produced by master potters. Then there are the teapots made from moulds, which are finished by hand in workshops. Finally one finds the ceramics made in small quantities by artisan families. To choose a Yixing teapot, you must know what quantity of tea you plan to drink, which type of tea you wish to use, in the knowledge that it’s better to use one teapot per type of tea. For the good maintenance of your teapot: From time to time, scald the outside of the vessel. This helps it to develop a bright aspect with the passing of time. Never clean the inside with soap or detergent! Rinse with hot water only.