• by vinux

“Ming Wanli System” and “Qing Kangxi Year System” are the commonly seen names of our handicrafts.

The purple clay pot is different from others. The bottom of the pot, the inner mouth of the lid or the lower edge of the handle, all have exquisite signs made by the pot maker.

Signatures, not only an important criterion for appreciating the quality of purple-clay teapots, also represent the artistic accomplishment and personal charm of pottery makers. It is also like a trademark for them. Today we will share knowledge about purple-clay tea pot signatures to make playing with teapots more interesting.

The earliest style of Zisha pottery seen so far is the Tree Root Teapot, with the words “For Spring” inscribed on its handle in iron wire.

Tree knot-shaped pot made by Master Zhizhe of the Spring and Autumn period is now stored in the Beijing Museum of History, and it is the only existing transmitter of the Spring and Autumn Period.

The first feature of purple sand ware is carving. During the Ming dynasty, Shi Dabin, a master pottery maker, was skilled at carving.

According to “Yangxian Minghu Series”, it is recorded: “The style of the pot is recognized at a glance. Those who are able to write can put it down with ink, paint it with a bamboo knife, or mark it with a seal. Finally, the blade is used to make characters. The calligraphy is elegant. In the posts of Huangting and Yueyi, people cannot imitate it, and appraisers use it as special.

In the past, Shi Dabing asked others to paint on the purple sand body, but later he himself used a knife instead of a brush, which made it impossible for others to imitate.

Engraved styles are mostly regular scripts, with Jin and Tang dynasties’ legacy.

Chen Mingyuan carved the inscription.

Engraving is tedious and requires a good calligrapher, and the results of different engravings cannot be guaranteed to be consistent. Therefore, a more convenient sealing stamp was created. Sealing with one stamp is enough and it is difficult to counterfeit. The artisans welcomed it immediately, and it has been used ever since.

Gujingzhou Seal Model Recognition

Throughout history, there have been many proficient potters and famous masters, as well as modern craft and art practitioners who pay great attention to the seal engravings on purple sand teapots. The multitude of seals used are usually neat and decorated professionally with certain artistic and appreciative value, granting a “cherry on the cake” effect.

Below, let us further understand the distinguish of zisha style from several aspects.

Original Text: 「あなたは誰ですか?」

English Translation: Who are you?

Types of recognition

After hundreds of years of development, the seals on purple sand teapots can be summarized as: name seals, lineage seals, trademark seals, year seals, pattern seals, place sealss, auspicious words seals, animal shape seals, poetic phrase seals and export seals. Some works have multiple types of seals used together.

Zhao Songting created and engraved a purple clay cow cover lotus seed pot (hall sign model).

Riyong Company Logo (Trademark)

Xiao Xing Pattern

Ich freue mich, dass du hier bist.

I am glad that you are here.

Signature Position

Previously, the inscriptions on purple clay teapots were quite random and there was no unified location. For example, Chen Mingyuan’s “Pumpkin Teapot” had “Mingyuan” engraved on the body tube, combined with a seal.

Nowadays, the signature of purple sand works is mostly stamped on the lid of the pot, with surnames on the cover and full names on the bottom.

The sun is shining brightly.

The sun is shining brightly.

Good features:
This item boasts a range of excellent features, including high quality materials and construction, stylish design, and practical usability. It is both long-lasting and versatile, making it an ideal choice for any situation.

Good potters usually have dozens of stamps of different sizes, fonts, shapes and styles to match different pot types.

Wang Yinxian’s Seal (Partial)

Just like the stamps used for calligraphy and painting works, a good purple sand style should have appropriate size, proper shape, reasonable position of seal printing, coordinated style, and proper weight of seal.

Mr. Gu Jingzhou uses the “Jingzhou Pottery” seal, the lines are not coarse but full of strength, and they are arranged freely and deliberately, showing everyone’s grace.

Specifically speaking, for a large teapot, the seal should be grand and exquisite; for a teapot with an unrestrained style, the seal should be bold and broad; for an elegant teapot, the seal should be dignified and steady.

Yang Peng made a stamp of “Amanto’s Room”, which showed vigorous, simple and magnificent behind the seal. The knife was like thunder and gold and stone taste full.

A kettle, not of good make, is not a good one. Looking at seals used by present-day purple sand artisans, there are rigorous and vigorous good seals, as well as messy and disorderly bad ones, and even stiff and rigid seals engraved by machines.

Kuan Shi and purple sand are both art, but I hope that purple sand artists will pay attention to the seals they use and inherit the seal aesthetics created by masters over hundreds of years.