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I'm trying to making yixing teapots...

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Hi! I'm basically a person who is obsessed with tea... and this has lead me to try and make my own yixing teapots. I've been posting att "'wetcanvas" but no one there really cares... so I thought I'd try a new forum!

 

my first efforts were sad:

poz1.jpg

 

But, then I watched some videos and started to get the steps...

aaaaaaaateapots1.jpgaaaaaaaateapots5.jpg

aaaaaaaateapots10.jpgaaaaaaaaaateapots1.jpg

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I've made TWO since I made that first decent one... But, each had some ... lets say... issues. I'll show this one:

00teapots1.jpg

 

Ugh... it's just too rough, and fugly. I think the problems is that I got a little ahead of myself and tried to work much too small too soon. I need to keep working at a larger sizes for now. Since my goal is to make *my personal* ideal teapot -- it's hard not to just focus on what I want. But, I need to remember that the teapot I will keep is not even born yet... it's not even an idea yet.

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

That said, I've come up with a new way of making handles. Making handles is HARD, since this clay isn't plastic and will crack when bent. I'm having some good luck sculpting the handles from slabs:

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

This show some bits in my "damp box" I'm trying to make a lot of pieces at once then just assemble them later. That way it is not required to make everything on the spot.

 

00teapots2.jpg

 

 

I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try.

 

This little workspace is my happy place!

00teapots3.jpg

 

Though, my husband complains about the pounding some of the time.

 

Can't wait to post the next (passable) pot. The encouragement really helps too. Some days nothing works. But, that's just part of learning. I have become very critical of the work of others:

 

3219_4.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...Two-Nice-Chines ... 232a5c14c2

 

I found these on ebay, and started listing the flaws as soon as I saw them. But, it made me feel better to see that others have struggled with the same things that I do... (lumpy spout, crooked handles, etc.) albiet they strugglemuch less...

 

I think I'll try to copy this teapot next:

 

its looks simple (deceptively simple ) and yet I think I understand how to make it.

 

666595428_tp.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...A-Small-Chinese ... 4ac3fc5b34

 

(FYI I have no idea if this ebay auction is a good price or even that great of a pot, I'm just using it for a visual reference, not saying it's worth bidding on!)

 

 

 

Back to the drawing board!

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I quickly reviewed the video to see what might be causing you problems with the clay. I noticed she uses a large wooden block, this would compress the clay better and make it easier to work with, do you use this tool? I also noticed that the potter is wearing latex gloves, they keep her hands from drawing moisture out to the clay. I noticed that you work on a wood surface, you might try a melamine covered board to work on that would draw less moisture out of your clay. The last thing is the humidity level in your working space can make a bid difference in working with any type of clay. Sometimes the littlest changes can make a big difference. Denice

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I've made TWO since I made that first decent one... But, each had some ... lets say... issues. I'll show this one:

00teapots1.jpg

 

Ugh... it's just too rough, and fugly. I think the problems is that I got a little ahead of myself and tried to work much too small too soon. I need to keep working at a larger sizes for now. Since my goal is to make *my personal* ideal teapot -- it's hard not to just focus on what I want. But, I need to remember that the teapot I will keep is not even born yet... it's not even an idea yet.

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

That said, I've come up with a new way of making handles. Making handles is HARD, since this clay isn't plastic and will crack when bent. I'm having some good luck sculpting the handles from slabs:

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

This show some bits in my "damp box" I'm trying to make a lot of pieces at once then just assemble them later. That way it is not required to make everything on the spot.

 

00teapots2.jpg

 

 

I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try.

 

This little workspace is my happy place!

00teapots3.jpg

 

Though, my husband complains about the pounding some of the time.

 

Can't wait to post the next (passable) pot. The encouragement really helps too. Some days nothing works. But, that's just part of learning. I have become very critical of the work of others:

 

3219_4.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...Two-Nice-Chines ... 232a5c14c2

 

I found these on ebay, and started listing the flaws as soon as I saw them. But, it made me feel better to see that others have struggled with the same things that I do... (lumpy spout, crooked handles, etc.) albiet they strugglemuch less...

 

I think I'll try to copy this teapot next:

 

its looks simple (deceptively simple ) and yet I think I understand how to make it.

 

666595428_tp.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...A-Small-Chinese ... 4ac3fc5b34

 

(FYI I have no idea if this ebay auction is a good price or even that great of a pot, I'm just using it for a visual reference, not saying it's worth bidding on!)

 

 

 

Back to the drawing board!

 

 

Just a few thoughts here about something you have thought out really well. Have you tried doing the handles out of a little wetter clay to help with the cracking problem? Or have thought of using a small extruder to extrude your coils for handles? At the same time the lid/body seem is rough, you may find it easier to lay paper towel or saran wrap between the two and work with your paddle evening up the seam. Just a few thoughts-keep up the journey, you'll get what you want, as you are approaching things well.

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The only words I can offer is what you already know ... : > ) ... What you are trying to do IS really difficult.

Controlling your humidity is crucial at every stage since all the pieces have to stay at the same level in order to be workable.

Try to enjoy the baby steps of your progress and keep sending in images of your work.

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I think you are doing a terrific job in a very difficult task. Today someone mentioned to me somewhere that the teapots are made in separate pieces and then joined when bone dry. The "glue" used to join them is paper clay slip with a bit of clear glaze mixed in. Maybe someone else on this forum knows about that and could give you more information.

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The only words I can offer is what you already know ... : > ) ... What you are trying to do IS really difficult.

Controlling your humidity is crucial at every stage since all the pieces have to stay at the same level in order to be workable.

Try to enjoy the baby steps of your progress and keep sending in images of your work.

 

Thanks to everyone! the encouragement really helps! And I have some new things to try.

 

Just a few thoughts here about something you have thought out really well. Have you tried doing the handles out of a little wetter clay to help with the cracking problem? Or have thought of using a small extruder to extrude your coils for handles? At the same time the lid/body seem is rough, you may find it easier to lay paper towel or saran wrap between the two and work with your paddle evening up the seam. Just a few thoughts-keep up the journey, you'll get what you want, as you are approaching things well.

 

I have not tried and extruder... could be good.

 

Today I discovered that if I twist the handle as I bend it it won't crack as much.

 

I quickly reviewed the video to see what might be causing you problems with the clay. I noticed she uses a large wooden block, this would compress the clay better and make it easier to work with, do you use this tool? I also noticed that the potter is wearing latex gloves, they keep her hands from drawing moisture out to the clay. I noticed that you work on a wood surface, you might try a melamine covered board to work on that would draw less moisture out of your clay. The last thing is the humidity level in your working space can make a bid difference in working with any type of clay. Sometimes the littlest changes can make a big difference. Denice

 

I use most of the same tools. I think I'm just much slower than her! Though I think I might try the gloves!

 

 

I know it's small but I had already cut the pieces for it before I decided to work larger for a bit.

 

 

11tea1.jpg

 

Today's attempt.

 

 

11tea2.jpg

 

 

11tea3.jpg

 

Dirty nails are dirty.

 

11tea4.jpg

 

I still need to do the lid for this one. Should be fun. Next one is going to be at least 150ml. But, I liked getting the shape.

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111teeea1.jpg

 

This is the yellow "duan ni" clay from china clay arts... it's much nicer than the green or the "purple" -- for some reason it seems to be easier to work with... or maybe it was just the way I reduced the clay from slip... dunno.

 

111teeea2.jpg

 

 

I like this better than a plain ball, but I need to make a less goofy lion.

 

111teeea3.jpg

 

 

111teeea4.jpg

 

 

Can't wait to burnish this one... the bamboo tools really help keep it smooth, also I now have TWO towels to keep my hands from getting sloppy.

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tttt1.jpg

 

New handle, new spout. Complete!

 

tttt2.jpg

 

I really like this ligher clay!

 

tttt3.jpg

 

tttt4.jpg

 

What should I work on next?

 

:?:

 

tttt5.jpg

 

Saying hello and goodbye today... may they be better teapots in their next lives...

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Today after work I did another teapot. The big break through todat was learning to use the "spout make knife" correctly. The trick is to hold the knife still and roll the clay around it! Now check out this spout!

 

japaneseverdantteas1.jpg

 

The lid looks large right? Well, I let the pot dry leather-hard before I started the lid, so I made it kinda big... too big since I had to trim it. Another lesson.

 

japaneseverdantteas2.jpg

 

I also learned that by compressing the clay I could bend the handles without cracking, but I still don't know how to get the handles nice and shiny...

 

japaneseverdantteas3.jpg

 

The lid will always look a little goofy since it was sized wrong...

 

japaneseverdantteas6.jpg

 

The base.

 

japaneseverdantteas7.jpg

 

Despite the incorrect size, I think I have a better understanding of how the inside of the lid should work.

 

japaneseverdantteas8.jpg

 

It takes a little push to get it on, I think this will resolve when it's bone dry... we shall see.

 

Any constructive criticism is welcome. And compliments of course! :mrgreen:

 

I said when I started that if I made 100 teapots I bet I could get the look I wanted. Well this is number 8! Just 92 to go!!

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Today I decided to try something more artistic-- could I combine my love of math and tea?Honestly I've been dreaming of this pot for a long time:dodecapot1.jpg

 

I call it a Ï•pot. After the golden ratio, Ï•, which (while over-hyped) is still very important to dodecahedrons.

 

 

dodecapot2.jpg

 

I want to do this one again... I have another idea for the spot.

 

 

dodecapot3.jpg

 

dodecapot4.jpg

 

 

dodecapot6.jpg

 

"Made in the south bronx!"

 

dodecapot5.jpg

 

I also made this, but, it will go in to the recycling soon-- using more than one color clay was not as nice as a hoped...

 

 

Even though I'm still learning I feel that I have a lot to share. I think I'll start typing up my observations on how to work with this clay. I've discovered a lot of tips along the way... hope to discover even more.

 

 

 

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Are you using a flat heavy mallet to form the clay into the original slabs, and constantly flipping them as they get pounded? That is the prefered technique with this kind of clay from Yixing that I observed there last week. Also, repeatedly using something like a large flat putty knife to smooth the surface of the slabs as they are worked.

 

Here's a link to my pictures from the recent journey to do my presentation at the Yixing, China Ceramics Art and Culture Festival....... maybe 1/2 way thru it there are a couple of images of making. (also a lot of photos of nice Yixing teapots there too.)

 

 

https://www.facebook...=1&l=83bc14d230

 

Nice to see your step-by-step progress on this endeavor.

 

best,

 

..............john

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OMG these photos are really helpful. I'm going there next year (as a day trip, we'll mostly be in shanghai)

 

I do everything the way they do in the video. But I don't have a chinese clay mallet I have a wooden potato masher unsure.gif --it's round so it can make very large slabs ... just small ones...

 

But, I've ordered the right kind of mallet.

 

Now that I know I like this I don't mind spending a little on the "real" tools.

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I've had one of those mallets for many years. They are VERY heavy. I think you'll find a difference when you start using something that heavy to compact and align the clay particles.

 

best,

 

.............john

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I did some quick sketchs of my ideas for other spouts. I want it to be geometric like the pot itself.

 

drawtea1.jpg

 

I like this one best, but I wonder about the pour and hole placement.

 

drawtea2.jpg

 

This one is quite long, it alters the profile of the teapot... but it's following the shuiping hu rules (as much as one can with such a strange pot shape) maybe rules are meant to be broken some of the time?

 

Maybe there is another way.

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25a88444bda911e29c7e22000a9e5de5_7.jpgI'm playing around with drawing on the pots. But it's hard to get it looking "effortless" ha ha... I think I ruined this one with my attempt at trout swimming up stream.

image.jpg

I erased it. I need to read up on 'how to draw on clay'er2.jpg

But look what came in the mail today!! a Solid rosewood Chinese clay mallet! OMG it's so heavy and it works sooooo much better than the potato masher. If only I didn't have so many papers to grade I'd do another pot right now... maybe try out the dodecahedron designs...

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I've made TWO since I made that first decent one... But, each had some ... lets say... issues. I'll show this one:

00teapots1.jpg

 

Ugh... it's just too rough, and fugly. I think the problems is that I got a little ahead of myself and tried to work much too small too soon. I need to keep working at a larger sizes for now. Since my goal is to make *my personal* ideal teapot -- it's hard not to just focus on what I want. But, I need to remember that the teapot I will keep is not even born yet... it's not even an idea yet.

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

That said, I've come up with a new way of making handles. Making handles is HARD, since this clay isn't plastic and will crack when bent. I'm having some good luck sculpting the handles from slabs:

 

00teapots1.jpg

 

This show some bits in my "damp box" I'm trying to make a lot of pieces at once then just assemble them later. That way it is not required to make everything on the spot.

 

00teapots2.jpg

 

 

I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try.

 

This little workspace is my happy place!

00teapots3.jpg

 

Though, my husband complains about the pounding some of the time.

 

Can't wait to post the next (passable) pot. The encouragement really helps too. Some days nothing works. But, that's just part of learning. I have become very critical of the work of others:

 

3219_4.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...Two-Nice-Chines ... 232a5c14c2

 

I found these on ebay, and started listing the flaws as soon as I saw them. But, it made me feel better to see that others have struggled with the same things that I do... (lumpy spout, crooked handles, etc.) albiet they strugglemuch less...

 

I think I'll try to copy this teapot next:

 

its looks simple (deceptively simple ) and yet I think I understand how to make it.

 

666595428_tp.jpg

 

http://www.ebay.com/...A-Small-Chinese ... 4ac3fc5b34

 

(FYI I have no idea if this ebay auction is a good price or even that great of a pot, I'm just using it for a visual reference, not saying it's worth bidding on!)

 

 

 

Back to the drawing board!

 

 

I really like the greenish colored pot in the first photo. Its rustic, hearty and solid. I like the style you created. There are a few tiny things about the lid though. I am trying the yxing pot also and the lid is very hard for me.

 

To be quite honest with you I would want that teapot over the ebay item. Keep making teapots.

Caroline

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25a88444bda911e29c7e22000a9e5de5_7.jpgI'm playing around with drawing on the pots. But it's hard to get it looking "effortless" ha ha... I think I ruined this one with my attempt at trout swimming up stream.

image.jpg

I erased it. I need to read up on 'how to draw on clay'er2.jpg

But look what came in the mail today!! a Solid rosewood Chinese clay mallet! OMG it's so heavy and it works sooooo much better than the potato masher. If only I didn't have so many papers to grade I'd do another pot right now... maybe try out the dodecahedron designs...

 

 

 

When I draw on clay, I first draw it on paper, then cover my clay with clear plastic then trace my paper drawing with a ball point pen maybe something you can try.

 

This link shows how you can transfer water based inks which might be better for your needs

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/education/ink-transfers-on-clay/

 

Love your little pots!

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tttt1.jpg

 

New handle, new spout. Complete!

 

tttt2.jpg

 

I really like this ligher clay!

 

tttt3.jpg

 

tttt4.jpg

 

What should I work on next?

 

:?:

 

tttt5.jpg

 

Saying hello and goodbye today... may they be better teapots in their next lives...

 

Very nice bottom on the pot. I also liked the handle, even though you did not, it looked like a regal lion.

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Hi! I'm basically a person who is obsessed with tea... and this has lead me to try and make my own yixing teapots. I've been posting att "'wetcanvas" but no one there really cares... so I thought I'd try a new forum!

 

my first efforts were sad:

poz1.jpg

 

But, then I watched some videos and started to get the steps...

aaaaaaaateapots1.jpgaaaaaaaateapots5.jpg

aaaaaaaateapots10.jpgaaaaaaaaaateapots1.jpg

 

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No, no, not sad. A very good start! The small pot in your first photo, the one that is green in color is your very own style. Maybe you can have the Yxing pot and also your pots in a merging of that style and your style. Would be good I think.smile.gif

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