The characteristics of yixing teapot 

Recognized by artisans and literati centuries ago, these characteristics of the Zisha or purple clays help to make Yixing pots especially well-suited for brewing tea. Excavations have shown that the composition and structure of the clays used in making authentic Yixing teapots today closely resemble those used in pots from the 1500s and later.Yixing Teapots are made by a very special unglazed clay material called “zisha” clay. The yixing purple clay teapot is reputed as the “first of all tea-sets in the world” for its unique material and characteristics.
Yixing clay has very special characteristics chemistry composition and texture, a 4% 0f the water absorption rate, a very low thermal conductivity, and other unique qualities, it already is confirmed and is received that Yixing clay is best raw materials for made teapot in whole world. When properly refined and fired to a high (but sub-porcelain) temperature, it produces a type of pottery that is slightly absorbent. Legend has it that if you have prepared tea in an Yixing teapot many times, you can reach a point where by adding boiled water alone you can make tea, because the teapot itself  holds enough of the tea flavor.

The characteristics of yixing teapot

Pottery made from purple clay is earthy and refined, and displays the ingenuity of the craftsman; it is full of cultural flavor characteristic of the East. The ancients praised that “pearls and jade can be found everywhere but there is only one soil like that at Yangxian(Yixing) Shitzu.” Therefore, one can say that purple clay soil is a national treasure endowed by the heavens.
The ancients praised tea drinking thus: “water is the mother of tea and teapot is the father” and “Yixing clay teapots are the best”:

1. One of the special attributes of Yixing teapot is the ability to retain heat. Mixing clay teapots conduct heat slower so can hold the heat longer, and it doesn’t burn the hand if you touch it.
2.Small pores produced in the clay during firing retain both heat and flavor, the lid keeps the steam in and yet does not smother the aroma, and the low shrinkage rate of Yixing clay allows the skillful potter to make a closely-fitting lid that inhibits oxidation thus heightening the tea flavor.
Mixing teapot can keep tea’s heat, primary color, aroma and taste. This is proved by the test: the fine qualities of tea will been retain for 5 days if you use fixing teapot. But it only can retain 3 days if you using other ceramics teapots.
3.  The Yixing teapot is free of lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic materials. Mixing ware is unlike other unglazed earthenware teapots. The Yixing teapot has a fine and solid texture, a four percent water absorption rate, a very low thermal conductivity, and a double air pore striation which enhances the pot brewing properties. The principal standards for evaluating a teapot brewing quality are the color of the tea soup produced and the level of tea phenol, caffeine, and aminophylline. The performance of the Yixing teapot is far superior to that of the standard teapot with respect to all four of these criteria. Not only are the Yixing teapots beautiful and unique works of art, but also, they are excellent brewing vessels. in fact,mixing teapots exceeds the strict standards imposed by china’s pottery research institute and are also approved by the use”fad”.to ensure this high standard of quality.



4. Tea inside it does not seep though no glaze is applied on its surface, tea brewed in it tastes rich and mellow for the Yixing teapot is porous. After firing, Yixing tea pot is solid and impermeable, yet porous enough to “breathe”. A Yixing teapot enhances the tea brewed in it with respect to color, smell, and taste. Its walls seem to absorb the tea and keeps fragrance. In summer, it keeps tea overnight without spoiling. With hot tea inside, it does not scald the hand with purple sand being a slow heat-conductor. But in winter, it may serve as a hand warmer and may be left on a low fire to make certain types of tea which need simmering. To the Chinese tea connoisseur, it is the “ideal teapot”.
5. Purple clay pottery is like wool: thick, snug, neat, pure, classy; and it is luminous as a piece of antique jade. Because the mixing teapot’s surface is fine and delicate, the more you use it, the shinier it becomes, the newer it looks, and the more energy it seems to exude. The colors of the clay are rich and varied, smooth and elegant, earthy and stable.
6. Because of its special composition, purple clay is also good for making flower pots since it can let light through and absorb water, which prevent roots from rotting.
Mixing teapot each piece is shaped by hand on a potter wheel and left unglazed, both because it makes better tea and because doing so allows the color of the clay to shine through. Highly prized for its porous nature, which is excellent at absorbing the flavor of tea, Purple sand or clay does not really in purple color only, it depends on the layering from the ground, different layers has different color, Yixing clay occurs naturally in the characteristic colors: light buff, cinnabar red and purplish brown. It can have many natural color after fired.

Yixing clay variety and basic info

Clay of Yixing are mainly Jiani, Nenni and Baini.
Jiang is dark solid clay mostly used for making ceramics, vase etc..Nenni is yellowish soft clay. Bain is white clay that is mainly kaolinite, used to make porcelain or ceramic. But the real clay used to make fixing teapot is zisha, there are actually three different varieties of Zisha.
The most common of these are the Zini or purple(rose-brown) clays. The other two more rare clays are know asBanshanlu(light green) or creamy white to light-brown clays and Zuni or red clays. Chemically, all are composed primarily of quartz, kaolin and mica and contain high amounts of iron oxide, which lends the clays their purple-red color. Zisha clays are also fairly sandy. All are from local mines and are composed of natural minerals. They are hidden between rocks and ordinary pottery soil, that is why they are sometimes called the “soil within the rock” and the “soil within the soil.”
The three soils are mixed according to need and the color desired. Then, it is fired at various temperatures depending on the soil composition.
• Darker colored clay is more rich but the color gradations range from: sky green, millet, deep purple, pear skin, cinnabar purple, flowering apple red, green gray, ink green, to bluish black, etc.
• There are colors that can be described as: modest purple, delicate red, mature green, chromatic black, and florid gray, etc., that are truly elegant.
• Other colors are created by mixing these three clay.
• A principal factor in determining the depth of the color is the concentration of iron in the clay.
Mini (purple, fired is usually brownish) exists as small amount inside Jiani ore bed.
When Zini contains so much manganese that becomes dark dots after firing, it’s called Hei Xing ni(aka Tie Xing ni, Hei Xing Sha).
Qing Shui ni originally is about method of clay manufacturing, pure clay without any mixing, usually mined from mid part of ore bed, common clay.
Di Cao Qing is from deep inside, usually reddish brown. Di Cao Qing is usually darker and heavier than Qing Shui ni.
Pin Zini means mixed Zini.
Luna (aka Ben Shan Lu ni, Benshan means original mountain that is Mt. Huanglong) is sort of mutant silica dots, evenly found from Jiani ore bed, very rare.
Duane is also rare, coincidently when co-exists with Luni and Zini. Most Duanni today however, is from Tanxi or Hufu or intentionally mixed with Luni and Zini.Zima(sesame) Duanni has many dark dots that resembles sesame. Bad Ma Zi ni is very similar to Luni after firing but not smooth and lots of grits.
Honing is from Nenni ore bed.
Zuni is very yellow ore, more yellow, better Zuni. On Zuni, is special clay cos it has different characteristics than other clay. Unlike other clay(Huang Long mountain), birth place of Zuni is Zhao Zhuang mountain, which is Lao Zuni. Most of Zuni today is from Xiao Mei Yao (near Huang Long mt.) and Hu Fu (aka modern Zuni).
Xiao Hongni is darker than yellow.
Da Hongni is from Jiani ore bed, basically Zini.
Da Hong Pao ni was from Huang Long mt., very popular during Qing dynasty. Real Da Hong Pao ni however, would sell no less than 500 USD. Most of DHP ni is from Fudong area recently.


On Pin Pei (mixing clay)
Pin Pei can be classified as clay-mixing and chemical ingredient-mixing. On former one, can actually enhance the quality of clay and plasticity.
Great masters such as Si Da Bin or Hui Meng Chen were actually masters of Bing Pei.
For example, the most expensive clay like Ben Shan Luni can’t be used for teapot making without mixing with Zini, unless it’s used for decoration.
The sought-after clay like Di Cao Qing, is actually better in smoothness and color after mixing with Qing Shui ni or Zini. Pure Di Cao Qing not only requires high temperature (1240C) to be fired but also unglossy and dark. However, Zuni is exception.
Latter is mixing with ingredients such as manganese oxide, iron oxide, copper oxide etc..
It looks good when first exhibition, but doesn’t earn natural patina after long time of usage.
Also, these clays are actually fired at low temperature and smell a lot.

The characteristics of the yixing clay may be summed up into following aspects:

The plasticity of ready clay, the hardness of the shaped clay-body and the low contraction rate make it possible to create pottery of various kinds, fantastic designs and different lines. For hundreds and thousands of years, generations of artists have kept on experimenting and exploring and added splendor to the civilization of mankind.

1.Of high plasticity. With a liquid limit of 33.4%, modeling limit of 15.9% and an index of 17.5%, purple-clay is of high plasticity and can be made into various shapes of different sizes. It has strong adhesion, but is not glutinous in hands and implements. The mouth, handle and the teapot body can be made separately before they are stuck together and polished with clay. The clay pieces of square vessels may be got together with grease clay, too. Such a large capacity materially enables the pottery artists to fully display their creative intention and give free play to their artistic techniques.

2.Of low contraction rate. From a clay base to a fired product, its contraction rate is only about 8%. It also has a wide range of firing temperature, a low deformation rate and a strong intensity of the raw chaybase. So the teapot cover suits the mouth very tightly, the contour is up to standard and can not be twisted. The handle may be designed thicker than that of a porcelain pot, and the round surface of the pot mouth is in proportion with the mouth. Besides, the clay can be used to make open-mouth vessels and teapots with mouth and body of the same width.

3.Purple-clay can be processed into pottery without any addition of other materials. The produced pottery have two layers of gas hole construction: close-mouth layer, that is the gas hole inside the nodule body; and open-mouth layer, which refers to the gas hole group around the nodule body. The two layers of gas hole provide the purple-clay pottery with fine ventilation. In addition, the tiny gas holes of high density possess strong absorption, which the glazed ceramic teapot lacks.
Meantime, precisely and reasonably shaped, the mixing teapot, with its mouth and cover fitting perfectly, has a displacement error within a tolerance of less than 0.5mm, which decreases the possibility of the air mixed with germs entering into the pot. Therefore, the color and flavor and fragrance of tea may last for quite a long time and delay the time when the tea goes bad. Furthermore, purple-clay teapot has the capacity to tolerate sudden heat and coldness. Even if boiling water and cold water are alternately poured into it, it will not explode or crack.

4.Another uniqueness of purple-clay is that it needn’t be glazed after it is shaped. It is smooth and shiny. After it is handled and caressed for a long time. It will send out dim light. While pottery clay of other texture can not be compared to it in this aspect.

Full hand Yixing teapot making process 

Besides the exceptional structure and mineral composition of Yixing clay, the most unique characteristic about the Yixing teapot is the traditional coiling technique of “forging the body” that is used to make a Yixing teapot. Unlike the common “earth clay” which comes in the form of “mud,” the raw Yixing clay comes in the form of rock, and it only appears to be like “mud” after many steps of preparing and refining. For this very reason the true Yixing clay cannot be turned on a pottery wheel. The modeling methods of Yixing clay pottery, since the Zhengde period in Ming Dynasty, have been becoming more and more perfect, owing to generations of Yixing artists’ exploration and improvement as well as the progress of science and technology.

The true Yixing clay can only be manipulated in the following three ways: half-hand building, full-hand building and casting&molding. There are various detailed methods which may be summarized into: hand forming, injecting mud forming, applying base forming and printing, etc.. They are an ancient craft, includes beating pot body and inlaying pot body.
Slab building and half-mold pressing are two major methods. They produce Yixing teapots with intact original Yixing clay characteristics. Of the two approaches, building a pot from a slab, the most traditional way of doing it, is the most highly regarded in teapot making, in terms of both the craft and the market demand.
While the concept of slab building in ceramics is deceptively simple, making a fine Yixing pot takes great skills. The artist has to maintain clay consistency and finishes. Any blemishes will not be covered, with glazes or roughness in treatment in the name of spontaneousness. Do note that the parts have to fit and work together with balance, smoothness and uniformity. Clay shrinks quite dramatically (usually 12 ~ 20%, depending on the formula and firing).The kind of precision these artists can achieve manually simply for a pot with aligned spout and handle and a fitting lid is in itself amazing, let alone elegance and precision in form and styling. Most practicing artists have begun working with clay since teenage, some even younger.
Hand-build Yixing teapots are made by the traditional coiling technique of “forging the body,” which was invented by Shi Dabin from the Ming dynasty according to the Zisha history:
1. After raw Zisha clay was being prepared into curbed “mud,” the artist begins to beat and forge the “Zisha mud” with a wooden bat.
2. After the forging process, the “Zisha mud” is rolled into a thin and long strip, and cut into the sizes needed and then pinched together to form the basic shape of the body of a vessel.
3. Subsequently the artist continues to beat and forge the “body” with the wooded paddle until the “body” is precisely formed into the desired shape.
4. Beating Yixing teapot body forming: First cut the ready clay into pieces in a certain length, width and thickness. Then beat them into clay slices and strips according to the vessel being made. Make scratches on the clay to show the width and whirl the mouth, bottom and body pieces. Stick the body pieces in the center of the revolving plate, and put the clay piece around the body pieces to form a clay tube. Then the left hand inside the round tube, use the right hand, with a thin wood beater, to beat it into desired shape.
5. The next step is to build the various parts of the teapots individually.
6. Then the finished “body” and the parts are assembled together, and carefully adjusted and polished before firing.
How to Use Yixing Purple Clay Teaware
Initiate and cultivate a new yixing purple clay teapot;clean and preserve, and The method of use and care Yixing clay teaware.

Initiate and cultivate a new yixing purple clay teapot

Before using a new Yixing teapot you should prepare it so that the teapot is ready for absorbing all the fragrance of the tea leaves.
In order to season a perfect Yixing teapot, and get a good taste of your tea soup, remember only use one type of tea for that yi sing teapot. Because of the micropores of the material, which giving Yixing clay its “breathing” property and potential to render fine infusion, the taste matters of tea also very gradually build up into the pot too.This is good and bad for the user. The good part is that with repeated use, the infusion itself actually improves. The bad part is that you cannot use the same pot for a different variety of tea to avoid conflicting taste substances from different tea blending together. For example, a green style tieguanyin cannot be steeped in a pot that has been used to make golden tip pure, or even a bouquet style Phoenix oolong.

Initiating a new fixing teapot – 3 method
A most serious way to initiate a new fixing teapot if you have time to do it
1)place the teapot with the lid uncovered, carefully place the pieces onto a cook ware which should be large enough to hold the water and be able to cover the entire fixing teapot.
2)Place some beancurd in the water and bring to a slow boil, since rapid boiling may damage your teapot since the pieces may possibly be hitting each other or hitting the walls in your cook ware.
3)slow boil for about an hour, let your teapot cool down in the cook ware with tea water still covering the entire teapot, let it stand for a day or so,
4)the next day you can take the teapot out and rub off any purple sand residue inside of your fixing teapot, rinse well with water only, place the teapot back into the cook ware with sugarcane and bring it to a slow boil again for around an hour or so. Let it cool down in your cook ware still covering with the tea water again,
5)the next day you may take out your fixing teapot and rinse it well with hot water. After this process, the air holes in your teapot are opened up and is ready for use. mixing teapot initial use prepare finished.

A brief  serious way that don’t use the beancurd and sugarcane
1. First cleaning
After you got your Yixing pot, give it a quick rinse in clean water and then completely submerge it in clean water to soak overnight. ABSOLUTELY no cleaning agents of any nature.
Rinse the pot again and submerge it in a fresh batch of clean water in a deep pan on the stove. Bring the water to a boil, reduce fire and let boil for 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse the pot in fresh water once. The pot is now ready for priming.
2. Priming
Submerge the pot in fresh water in the pan and put over the stove again. Turn off the fire after it comes to a boil. Put the kind of tea that you want to use with this pot into the pan of hot water and cover, as if you are making a pan of tea, with the teapot in it. Let steep for over night.
Drain and rinse the pot in fresh water once and let air dry, lid open. Your pot is primed and ready for your first pot of tea.

A simple way for the yi sing teapot initial use
The above way that initiate a new fixing teapot for using cost long time. In fact it is not a must procedure to follow when you don’t have much time, so whatever…better than never, there is also simple way for the yi sing teapot initial use:
1. Fill your yi sing teapot with newly boiled water and allow the water to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the water.
2. Fill the teapot a second time with newly boiled water and add one teaspoon of your favorite loose tealeaves. Allow this tea to sit for a period of 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the tea, your new yi sing teapot is ready for use!
Tips: If you ever made such mistakes, re-prime the pot all over again, but boil it with water two times in the cleaning step instead of once. (read the paragraph below for cleaning)
With continued use, the purple clay from which Yixing teapots are made will absorb the flavors of your tea, becoming more seasoned with each use. Over time, the color, flavor, and aroma of your tea will develop a richness that is unique to each teapot. For this reason, Many people dedicate a specific flavor of tea or at least a specific type of tea to each Yixing teapot.
Process of cultivate Yixing teapots
If you’re getting an Yixing teapot and you want it to give you back the best flavor possible, you’re going to have to care for it properly. The means saving a little bit of each steeping to “feed” the pot (pour over the pot to help more tea get into the pores), the finer your pot, the more likely you are to use it, and the more likely you are to actually invest the time in caring for the pot properly.
STEP 1
Before using your prized Yixing teapot, checked how whether the air vent is clear of blockage. Test the flow of water and if it is not smooth, clear the holes inside the spout of any debris. Finally examined whether there are clay deposits within the teapot, which if present can be easily removed by scraping it with a wooden or bamboo piece.
STEP 2
Before using the teapot, determine which tea leaves you are going to brew in it. Do not brew different kind of tea leaves in the same teapot. Mixing clay is very porous that’s why it is such a good vessel for brewing tea as it’s able to retain the as well as trap tea particles in these pores. With frequent usage, more and more tea particles are trapped and every time you brew tea, fragrance is released which when mixed with the current brew makes the tea taste better than if it was brewed in a new teapot.
After you have determined the tea to use for this teapot, do not start using the teapot yet, but use it as a “Gong Dao” (justice) pot where tea is poured into it before being poured into tea cups.
STEP 3
Every time you brew tea, use the teapot as “Gong Dao” pot and always pour the first infusion (which we normally discard) over the exterior of the teapot. If possible, reserved the last infusion (which is already diluted) to rinse the exterior of the teapot. This enables the tea oil to stain the exterior of the teapot and helps patina to grow.
STEP 4
At the end of each session, letting the pot dry completely between uses (to avoid mold and to help the flavor “set” into the pot… if you use a wet post, then a lot of the flavor will just get washed away instead of building up nicely). Before the next session, repeat Step 3 again.
STEP 5
When you start brewing tea with this teapot, always rinsed the teapot (from cap down) with the first infusion. At the end of a session, use a tea cloth to wipe and polish the exterior surface of the teapot. Continue doing it for another 3 months and I guarantee that a rich patina will grow on the surface of the teapot.
Your teapot will start to look lovely and somehow you can swear that the clay seems very much different compared to when you first bought the teapot.
The above is what tea connoisseurs meant when they say “Yang Hu” or “cultivating a teapot”.
If your fixing teapot can in anyway contribute to this tasting, this ultimately aesthetic experience of the senses, it will in the end also make the tea taste better on a psychological level. Something coming out of a lovely vessel will make your more positively disposed towards the tea that’s coming out of it. This placebo effect should in turn help you taste more interesting things in the tea by helping to make you just a little more open minded and positive.

The method of use and care Yixing teapot

After finished the new pot initiate process, now you are now ready to use Yixing teapots for preparing your first pot of tea.
1. Fill your Yixing teapot with freshly boiled water to heat up the pot. Drain the water.
2. Put one teaspoon of tea leaves into your pot. Again, fill the teapot with freshly boiled water. Drain the water quickly to rinse the tea leaves.
3. Fill the teapot a third time with boiling water, allow it to steep for at least 1 minute and enjoy your tea
Yixing teapot give the best flavor when used in gong-fu, even really casual gong-fu enforces just a little bit of ceremony on the drinkers, because you drink short, small stepping out of small cups. Small cups means you have to sip your tea (savor it, taste it), instead of just drinking out of a mug.
It’s the difference between drinking to quench thirst and drinking to appreciate tastes, flavors, textures. This is tea as an experience as opposed to tea as a beverage. Tea that tastes with care will always taste better, because you are paying attention to it. You are looking for the good things in the cup, and so they are easier to find. It just tastes better, which is awesome.

The reason of care your Yixing teapot
Since only Yixing teapots contain thousands of air holes or micro-air pores, besides being able to keep the hot water hot for a longer time and brew teas better, these air holes can also self seasoning the teapot by absorbing the aroma from the tea. These characteristics can only be found in the purple sand, therefore, Yixing teapots are most used by the serious tea drinkers.
Serious tea drinker like myself, I have been using one teapot for only one type of tea in order not to mix-up with the tea aroma in that teapot. Normal tea drinkers may find using two or three Yixing teapots sufficient, one for green tea(but make sure to cool your water temperature), second one for Oolong tea and a third one for black tea. Brewing a cup of good tea has many factors besides using a good Yixing teapot, different tea requires different methods to brew, When purchased a new Yixing teapot, do not use it to brew tea right the way, it needs to be treated with preparation work in order to have these air holes functioning properly in the purple sand.
An Yixing pot is at heart an extremely fine, specialized tool. Compare it to a fine chef’s knife. If you’re going to invest in a good knife and you really care about having one that cuts well for you, then you might as well get a good one. You also have to make sure you’re caring for it properly. For a knife, this will mean using a wet stone and a steel often to keep the blade sharp and straight, not just an automate sharpener once or twice a year. This is what I meant when I spoke of raising and cultivating a tea pot. I was speaking of the technical act of actually caring for the teapot well in order to make good tea, not of fetishizing or anthropomorphizing an object unnecessarily.

How to clean and prevent mold growth
in a Yixing teapot

Since the Yixing clay has the unique characteristic of absorbing the flavor of your tea, washing with soap will take away from that unique quality.so never clean Yixing teapots with any detergents or cleaning agents, just rinse with hot water after each use would be sufficient, pat dry with soft towels if preferred, leave the lid uncovered till it is fully dried. Tea stains may build up on your teapot after many used, don’t worry about getting it off, collectors are always looking for tea stains as this is one of the characteristics required for a good old and antique teapot. Avoid having dust and grease get to the teapot. We have seen a good old teapot which has scaling tea stains, to a collector’s point of view, this kind of Yixing teapots worth much more value and is rare to find.
If you’re not already doing this to your fixing teapot, here’s what I might recommend.
1. After you remove all of the tea leaves, do a quick swish with boiling water to make sure you’ve removed all of the small debris. Empty it out.
2. Then, pour fresh boiling water into the mixing teapot and cover with the lid. Pour boiling water over the pot, too. Let this sit for a few minutes (until the pot is cooler to touch).
3. Pour out the water, making sure to check inside for small debris again. Don’t pour it all out right away.. save a little bit to swish and pour out of the top (rather than the spout).
4. Then pour in just boiled water, replace the lid, and pour boiling water over the pot one more time. Pour our right away, and remove the lid.
Using boiling water as a “rinse” should help with 1) finding any little particles and getting rid of them.. 2) Making sure that the last thing to touch the pot was super hot so that it evaporates very quickly (instead of cool water that sits and evaporates over two days). The boiled water should evaporate off the hot pot within a minute. I find this more ideal than will water evaporate off of a cold or room temperature pot, since no dampness can stick around in the dark, cool recesses of the pot and spout.
At this point, you can also take a very clean piece of cloth or suede (you can even dedicate one to your Yixing teapots) to lightly rub the outside of your pot. If you do have hard water, this will help to even out any water residue. You can even have a little bowl of boiling hot water to (lightly!) dip the cloth in and rub on the outside of the pot.
Finally, you could even use a dry part of that cloth to pat away moisture left on the inside of the mixing teapot.
All of these things should help the mixing teapot dry quickly, without tiny leaf residue, and with less hard-water buildup (or at least more evenly distributed build-up). None of these are required, and you can experiment with what works for you, but since you’re having so many issues with mold, I would suggest doing as many of these steps as you can, and then slowly removing whatever steps don’t work for you over time.
One more quick tip:
be sure you’re checking the spout for loose leaf debris. Sometimes small particles can get stuck in the filters. I find bobby pins (with the end-protectors removed) or thing pure needles (or just plain needles!) helpful for getting in there and manually removing anything that doesn’t want to come out with blasting water wrong way through the spout.
Qinzhou Nixing pottery
Nixing pottery of Qinzhou in the Guangxi Province, one of the 4 famous types of pottery in China, is hailed as a most unique art. It is a specialty of Qinzhou and made from peculiar red clay. Nixing pottery has a history of over 1,000 years, and the oldest pieces found were produced around 618 AD. In recent years, this type of earthenware became popular again and has increased in popularity among collectors and consumers both domestically and abroad.
Through the unique quality of the clay and its delicate craftsmanship, Qinzhou Nixing pottery appears archaic, with a bronze or dark reddish brown color. It usually includes a flambé glaze and turns azure after being fired in high temperatures. Moreover, its surfaces become surprisingly smooth after polishing. The variety of typical Nixing pottery items is over 600, with the majority being tea sets, stationery, tableware, vases, coffee utensils, incense tripods, and antique imitations.
Nixing pottery is also popular because of its unique functions. It can withstand strong acids and bases, keeps things fresh against dampness, and is non-toxic. The pieces also maintain the taste and color of tea for days, and even in hot weather, tea stored in the pottery does not spoil. This also applies to food. Moreover, a tea scent lingers in the pot after it has been used for a long time, and the fragrant herbal scent continues to exists, even without tea, by pouring hot water into the pot.
Jianshui Pottery
Jianshui pottery is short for Jianshui artistic pottery, a wonderful style of Chinese artistic earthenware with a history of more than 200 years.
Producing artistic pottery takes a combination of high-quality materials and well-developed techniques, each complementary and indispensable to each other. Jianshui pottery is just the kind of high-quality pottery to result from such a perfect combination. Around Wanyao Village in the suburb of the town of Jianshui, the abundant clay contained in the surrounding area is of excellent quality and suitable for making high-grade pottery due to its fineness, glossiness, and good viscosity. Families of pottery craftsmen have been making Jianshui pottery for generations. Various types of these works are made with 5-color clay through delicate processes like body blank, painting, carving, scraping, clinkering, and polishing. They are beautifully shaped with elegant and antique vintage patterns, and their outsides are fine and glossy. The brightly colored surfaces are shiny and, when you knock on it, the sound is like knocking on bronze and stone tablets. All of these features reflect the strong ancient ethnic flavor of China.
Among so many style variations of Jianshui pottery, the ones with white patterns embedded on the dark black surface are especially precious; beautiful white flowers carved into the shiny black exterior renders a sharp but harmonious color contrast that gives the pottery a very precious and distinctive style.
Jianshui pottery comes in a wide variety of articles including jars, kettles, basins, tea sets, vases, boilers, and many more. The pieces are acid- and damp-proof, and they hold heat yet is permeable by air. With Jianhiu pottery, tea can be preserved for a long time inside the teapots, flowers live long in the vases, and food remains fresher longer in dishware. Of so many styles of product, the Jianshui pottery boiler is the most famous. Food boiled using one of these boiler and water vapor is especially delicious, and the nutrition is retained. The original version of the famous Yunnan dish, boiled chicken with panax notoginseng, is only cooked in a Jianshui pottery boiler.
Anfu Pottery in Rongchang
Anfu Pottery is made in Anfu Town, Rongchang County, southwest China's Chongqing. Together with Yixing Pottery in Jiangsu, Qinzhou Pottery in Guangxi, and Jianshui Pottery in Yunnan, they are named as four famous types of potteries in China. 
According to historical records, Anfu has been famous for pottery making since the Han Dynasty. Developed unceasingly through Tang and Song Dynasties, the pottery production in Anfu reached its peak in Ming and Qing Dynasties. 
Anfu pottery enjoys great fame for its "fine clay", which is known "as thin as paper, as resonant as chime stone (an ancient musical instrument in China), and as bright as mirror". In production process, craftsman should focus on the beauty of "modeling, carving, glazing, and firing". In 2010, the production technique of Anfu pottery was listed as state-level intangible cultural heritage.