• by vinux

“Black King Kong”, “Dragon Blood Sand”, and “Ink Green Mud”, these words should all be familiar to friends who have seen purple sand tea pots on Taobao.

Nowadays, many Taobao merchants like to take quality mud as a gimmick to exaggerate the mud material.

Are these mud materials really good? I don’t think so. You should know that mud materials can be faked.

Today, let’s take a look at how the fake purple-clay material on the market is made.

Add chemical raw materials

First mix inferior clay together, then color it with chemical raw materials, and then fire it to make the pot, which is called a chemical pot.

Chemistry flask

By adding pigments, various colors of clay can be brought out.

For example, adding iron oxide can make the pottery redder; adding manganese oxide can make it darker; adding chromium oxide can make it greener.

Oxidized iron

Actually, if some stable oxide pigments are added to the clay material and fired at a flame of more than 1000℃, it should not release any harmful substances when used to hold boiling water of 100℃ for tea.

However, many chemical cookers sold on the market just focus on color, and often cannot reach the right temperature.

In this way, those metal ions that have not undergone oxidation reactions can be precipitated by water and cause long-term health hazards if consumed.

Chemical pots, with the addition of chemical dyes for coloring, look glossy and attractive. They are often sold near tourist attractions and stations at a low price, to deceive consumers who do not understand the market.

A mud pot masquerading as a purple-clay teapot

Recently, a friend left a message on the back end saying, “Can I go to the store to learn from an expert how to make a purple sand teapot and buy one at the same time?”

This friend must have seen pottery stores often where customers place the clay on a round disk with a motor and when they switch it on, the motor spins and utilizing the centrifugal force, they shape the clay into a pot by hand.

Pottery shop making pots

This process is called hand-pulling, and it cannot be used to make purple clay teapots.

Purple sand mud is different from the clay used in pottery making, it has a larger particle size and granular components. When the wheel is rotating, centrifugal force will break the body.

Therefore, true purple clay cannot be formed using this technique.

The traditional shaping technique of purple sand pottery uses the method of tapping or inlaying for shaping. This skillful craft cannot be mastered overnight.

Nowadays, the market is full of Yixing teapots, which are even claimed to be made of purple clay and mislead consumers.

This Yixing hand-pulled teapot does not use pure purple sand clay, it must be mixed with kaolin and chemical clay to increase its plasticity.

In addition to Yixing teapots, the mud used for Yixing glazing pots on the market is also like this, and need to add clay or chemical mud in order to make it into shape.

The grout pail

Yixing hand-drawn and glazing pots, their clay is not pure, this type of pot loses the characteristics of purple sand pot, strictly speaking, it is no longer a purple sand pot.

Foreign ore mud

The birthplace of purple sand is Yixing, Jiangsu, but it is not exclusive. There are many places around Yixing, such as Changxing, Guangde of Anhui Province, and Zhangzhu of Yixing, all of which have purple sand.

However, only Yixing DingShu’s purple sand shows the characteristic of double air holes, which makes it the most beautiful in terms of natural coloration and original texture on the surface of the pot. Therefore, it is the best choice to make a teapot.

Yixing Ding Shu Yellow Dragon Mountain

Dingshu’s Huanglong Mountain is well known for its good ore sources. With a history of purple sand that has lasted for hundreds of years, Huanglong Mountain has nurtured generations of purple sand people.

As quality ore sources become increasingly scarce and expensive, some people have begun to look for alternative sources around them to replace them.

Purple-clay teapots made from foreign ore need to be mixed with local purple-clay ore in order to look like a purple-clay teapot.

However, after using it for a few months, there was almost no change and almost no breathability. It can already be said that it is not a true purple sand pot.

In order to be closer to the effect of the original purple clay ore, some unscrupulous merchants even deceive purple clay lovers by adding some chemicals.

So, how can one tell if a purple clay teapot is made from original ore mud? Here are a few methods:

One, look at the color.

For a new purple sand pot, the pot made of genuine purple clay has a dull color with dim luster.

If the color of the purple sand pot is too bright and dazzling (the mud itself will be a little shiny, but the new pot will not be too oily), it is very likely that the material used is not from the original ore.

Alternatively, adding glass water to Zhu Ni increases brightness and makes the new pot achieve the effect of soaking. It is convenient for sale, such as a Zhu Ni pot that costs about 100 yuan on Taobao is made this way.

For a purple clay teapot that has been steeped for a certain period of time, there should be a soft and mellow hue.

Second, smell the scent.

The new purple clay teapot generally only has the smell of earth that has been roasted by fire.

If the new pot smells of any kind of chemicals or other bad odors, it is likely made of fake clay.

Three, feel the fetal quality.

The new purple sand pot is not smooth on the surface, and it should have a sandy grainy feeling when touched by hand. (For higher number of Zhu Ni, the gravel feeling may be slightly weaker).

The interior of Yixing teapots have spiral patterns, which are inevitable marks left during the hand-pulled making process.

Fourth, boiling water.

A teapot made of genuine raw purple clay mud has naturally occurring colors without the addition of any chemical dyes.

If you put a purple clay teapot in boiling water, and its surface fades and the color of the water changes, then this pot is made of fake clay and has been added with other chemicals.

Think twice before buying a kettle, don’t easily believe the publicity of Taobao merchants, don’t think you can buy a good kettle with just one or two hundred yuan, and don’t have the mentality of picking up bargains.

I hope that all Pot Friends can meet good sellers and buy a good pot.