• by vinux

Many pot friends asked me if the cover of the purple sand pot was accidentally broken, can I get another one? My usual advice is that if it is not very expensive, it is better to change a pot. After all, it is too difficult to reassemble a handmade purple sand pot.

Why doesn’t the teacher give a replacement for the broken pot lid?

This phrase, “Better to make three teapots than one lid,” is commonly heard in the purple sand pottery industry. Many people may not understand why a lid cannot be made separately when it is usually fitted together with the teapot body.

At first, the most difficult part of making a purple clay teapot with its lid is that it needs to be made according to the shape, spirit, and aura of the original teapot. It is very hard to make them into one unity of style and expression if they were not made by the same potter.

Secondly, even for the same teacher, matching covers is not an easy task.

The purple clay teapot undergoes two shrinkages from raw material to firing: 1. Drying shrinkage; 2. Firing shrinkage.

At the blank stage, the lid must be fitted with the pot body, not too loose or too tight. During firing, the lid and pot body are fired together, receiving forces at the same time and shrinking together. This way the teapot can be made just right.

If the lid is made separately, it is very difficult even if there is original clay and original pot body in the hands of the potter. Uncontrollable factors such as kiln temperature during the firing process will make the lid fired separately not only mismatched in size, but also with color difference between the lid and the body, which is not only impractical but also not aesthetically pleasing.

Why is the lid of a pot said to be hard to match? Here is a story of lid-patching by master Gu Jingzhou:

Tang Yunzang, a famous Shanghai painter and collector of purple sand, has a Han Dynasty pot with the “Rideau Mountain Pavilion” style purple sand, but the lid is missing. He then asked his old friend Gu Jingzhou to help him find a lid. Gu Jingzhou readily agreed without hesitation.

He called in two skilled pottery makers, and personally mixed the clay. After mixing the clay, the other two people first pounded the clay. The pounding had to be done in order and direction, then cut, not making any mistakes in the whole process. It took three days to pound the clay correctly.

They made several test pieces, fired in three temperatures of high, medium and low. After repeated attempts, they looked at which temperature of the test piece matched the color of the body of the “Han Duo Pot” when it was opened. Then Master Gu personally made a lid for the Han Duo pot with pounded mud according to the color that matched the temperature. After firing in the kiln, the lid of the Han Duo pot matched harmoniously with its body, and moved smoothly as if made by a master craftsman.

It is evident that the matching of covers is not an easy task; let alone those masters who possess such sophisticated skills as Gu Kexiu in this modern age?

The lid of the pot is broken, is there no other way?

Don’t worry, apart from reformation, as long as the lid of the pot is not “shattered”, there are still ways to repair it. You can refer to the following two methods.

Answer: The Supplement Law

Repair method: Drill with a diamond bit and mount polished nails (made of gold and silver, etc.) to make the crack join.

Applicable situation: The pot is expensive, has collection value, and the lid only has three or two fragments.

Repair effect: Continual use, crafted by a master craftsman, can likely give the pot another artistic style.

The price of a pottery teapot is not cheap, even a small crack can cost hundreds of yuan. Unless it is an expensive and highly collectable purple-clay teapot, it is usually not recommended to repair ordinary pots.

Goldwork technique

Repair method: After sticking the broken pot lid, reshape and bind the lid with gold and silver, then draw a pattern with gold powder at the seam.

Applicable situation: The pot price is relatively high and has collection value, the top edge is broken (missing meat) and shattered into several pieces.

The patching effect is both aesthetically pleasing and practical, finishing the job perfectly.

This method, like welding, can be used normally after repair, but the price is also higher, which is not suitable for the general daily use of kettle cover repair.

Editor’s message: Stay strong and keep moving forward!

A broken, finely crafted purple clay teapot lid, to many people, still hope to be repaired well, even if it may cost more than the purple clay teapot itself.

In fact, the relationship between people is also such that once it breaks down, we may be willing to pay any price to seek repair. But after all, human hearts are not objects; once broken, there may be no possibility of repair.

Therefore, cherish the people and things around you, hope that time can go a little slower and stay together for a longer time.