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Yixing teapot process from an amateur (round two)

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I decided to document the whole process again to see if I could get some feedback on it.




I've gone over how to get to this stage before. This is a hollow "egg of clay" mad by paddling and pounding. I've smoothed it with rubber which seems to work best. I think it looks OK on the top.





But the bottom is still less than ideal The more I try to smooth it the more lines appear. Since I have a lot more work to do I call this "good enough" and move forward.




Scrape the top flat with ox horn to prepare to make the lid assembly.




When I'm not wokring on a part and if I don't want it to dry out it goes in the muro.



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Why the image limit???? This is an arts forum images (esp remotely hosted one like the ones I use) should be ENCOURAGED. Anyway... I'm certain there's a reason for it... hmmm.


I've started making templates-- this is much easier than the compass... but is there a disadvantage to template over the traditional method?




I don't use water to join I use yougart-thickness clay.








Making the lid.




Rough out the shape with slabs glued together.




Then smooth it out. I wish I had a better way to do this.




If I don't think about what is under something I can cause problems when removing it-- from now on I'll put the lid on a template so it won't stick to the banding wheel!



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I'm happy with the way I make spouts for the most part.




It's fun!




The bottom of the lid.




Digging it out.




I have no idea how to make the handle smooth, I make it with very wet clay then let it get a little stiff before putting it on the teapot body. But look at how "hairy" it is. What can I try?




Smoothing with rubber is not effective on this kind of shape.



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Everything is coming together! Here are all of the part needed to make the pot: body, spout, lid and lid base. Now just glue it together.




The total area of the holes should be greater than the spout opening! makes sense!




Ready to attach.




Non functional teapot need to cut out the lid!






Smooth the holes on the inside.




Add a handle to the lid and we are done!




I think this one is the best looking thus far.





Might be time to retire some of these "keepers"


Total time: 2.5 hours.


One hint that I was told is that when I get it down to 40min I'll be in business. Going faster helps since the clay can dry out.


One thing I've found hard is getting my clay to the right moisture level... any hints on how to do that?

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I have no experience making these teapots, but I do with handbuilding. If I were making a lid for that teapot and wanted it to be rounded, I would make a slab and then either press it into a slump mold or lay it over a hump mold. Same basic process, and either would probably work. If you did it over a hump laid on a flat surface, you could also creat a rim at the same time, though you could also do that with a slump. It would be important to get it off the hump before the clay dried enough to crack. A slump would allow you to leave the clay in the mold much longer and would also hold the lid while you add a coil for the underside of the lid to hold it in place in the teapot. You can shape the flange to be whatever shape you want, but a coil is a good start. That high density styrofoam used to insulate houses can be used to make molds, but it comes in 4x8 foot sheets, so maybe you could find something suitable at a craft store. Plaster is fabulous for molds.


There is a way of throwing a round, closed form like your egg, letting it firm up to leather hard, and then cutting the lid out of the top while it is turning on the wheel. I will see if I can find a video online. You can also lay a slab over the hole you have cut in the pot, and then gently tamp the slab down into the hole, forming the lid upside down.


I really like your handle shape. I assume you are starting with a coil. Letting it set up before attaching it is a good idea. If you want to smooth it, try using a damp sponge to moisten your fingers before touching it. Dry fingers stick, and wet ones make a mess. The damp sponge seems to work best. I love my rubber ribs, but IMO, there is nothing better than wood tools for handbuilding. Maybe you can find or even make something that would have just the curved shape you need for your handles.


The flat part of your original egg shape and your handle look wet to me. It can be difficult to keep your clay dry enough to work with but not so dry that it cracks. I have a variety of surfaces to work on. A flannel covered waterproof pad made for babies is great for rolling out slabs. the clay does not stick, and the fabric will dry the clay out a bit. A board covered with a sheet of plastic and then thin cotton fabric is a good work surface for putting together the final piece, as the clay won't stick to the fabric and won't dry out much. I like to roll coils on Formica, as it does not dry out the coils.


All in all, you are doing a terrific job with your project. I admire your perseverence.

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Seems like you are getting better, what number pot is this on your quest for 100.


One thing I noticed from the videos is how little they touch the clay with fingers. Seems excpt to move slabs about the use a tool for everything, gives a more crisp look.


they have tools and ribs for each shape and profile. Maybe thats what comes after oh say 100 thousand pots and 500 years, eh?


keep going

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