Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cute Pot - 70's by Lao An Shun

Hand thrown Chao Zhou pot from the 70's, made of local Zhu Ni (not Yixing Zhu Ni) with Fen Cai decor. The dark purple color comes from high fire. It's very heavy with thick wall, unlike the usual light weight thin walled red color Chao Zhou pots. It's made by Lao An Shun, one of the 2 most famous hand thrown Chao Zhou pot makers. This style of tea pot is made similar to Yixing pots for export purpose. Exterior is glazed with finely ground Zhu Ni to give a smoother and darker color to look even more like an Yixing pot. Single hole spout, no visible flaws or damage.

Fen Cai(Soft Color or Pastel Color) was transcended from the Chinese 5 color Ying Cai (Hard color) with influence of French Enamel. Ying Cai was the main coloring agent for pottery painting in Ming dynasty originating from Song and Yuan dynasties, mainly done under glaze. French Enamel was introduced to China in early Ching during Kang Xi years. Fen Cai began in Yong Zheng (son of Kang Xi) years. Adding a white glass glaze mixture to Ying Cai gives a softer look and it's applied on top of glazed potteries. The colors are more vivid, brush strokes are cleaner as a result. The finished art work also appears 3 dimensional.

This pot brews VERY good pu-erh (green or cooked) and anything old (Dan Cong/Liu Bao). However less good for young Dan Cong because the thickness of wall conceal too much heat for too long. Probably not good idea to brew the greener/lighter types of oolong such as High Mountain or TGY. I should try a heavy fired Yan Cha with it. $360, free shipping and insurance in 48 states. tea at teahabitat dot com

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