Artistic Features of Zisha Teapots
As a non-glazed ware, the zisha teapot achieves its visual effect from its form and structure rather than the decorations of glazed, colored drawing. During the long development of zisha art, the potters have created many exquisite and unique patterns incorporating rich aesthetic thoughts.
The demand of stability is met in the design of its form. Stability means more than a teapot that pours clean and steady for the visual stability also counts. To make the zisha teapot easy to handle and simplify the manufacturing process, a round or symmetrical form is usually the most favored shape of the teapot. The center of gravity lies on the axis, which is also the center line of a whole structure and perpendicular to the center of the bottom. The visual stability largely depends on the bottom size. Moreover, the changes in shoulder and waist also contribute to the position of gravity center and overall stability.
Zisha art can be described as a type that is "from but beyond life".
A good zisha teapot is the combination of perfect form and proficient skill. Furthermore, it is crucial to select suitable patterns, texture of decorations, and the correct technique. Since zisha art is an art of emotions, a relatively perfect work must be able to convey the sense of art with proper attention to both convenience and the function of cultivating, enlightening and generating the aesthetic feelings within.
As the deceased zisha art master Gu Jingzhou has mentioned: “In a word, the artist has to be decisive, simple, forthright and sincere. He has to express the feelings of immediate concern to himself to meet all standards including configuration, expression, vitality and posture, and to create ceramic works of vivid style and strong influence.”
Zisha Teapots Usage and Maintenance
The basic usage of zisha teapots:
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 teapot.
Place some tea leaves (preferably the same kind of tea which you will use for your new teapot) in the water. Bring the water to a slow boil. Rapid boiling may damage your teapot since the pieces may possibly be hitting each other or hitting the walls of your cook ware.
Let it slow boil for about an hour, let your teapot cool down in the cook ware with tea water still covering the entire teapot and let it stand for a day or so.
The next day you can take the teapot out and rub off any purple sand residue inside of your teapot, rinse well with water only, place the teapot back into the cook ware 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.
The next day you may take out your teapot and rinse it well with hot water. After this process, the air holes in your teapot are opened up and are ready for use.