• by vinux

“Fatty clay”? Generally, pottery makers are more concerned with questions such as “clay material, full-handed or half-handed, light goods or flowery goods” and so on. Few people would go into studying the specific shaping methods, thus leading to a situation of “knowing what it is but not why it is as such”.

What is Fat Mud? Fat Mud is not a type of clay but the “adhesive” when all components (lid, spout, body, etc.) of a purple sand pot are combined. It is made by crushing the original raw clay material and mixing it with water to make it very thick. It requires that it be picked up with a fat mud stick (a bamboo chopstick) without flowing.

Well-beaten mortar.

Fat mud is beaten out on the flat surface, the process is similar to us beating eggs and requires great skill. Some pots have holes or spouts drooping at various parts which are related to uneven beating of fat mud and lack of clearing bubbles in the mud.

Normally, when we talk about glazing, there are two main steps: coating and sticking. These two steps might seem insignificant, but they test the skill of the potter and determine the practicality and artistry of a pot.

“Polishing Basic Skills of Actors with ‘Putty'”

The next step after kneading the clay is “applying the clay” (using a clay stick to pick up a piece of clay and apply it evenly to the bonding area). Through millions of practice, the craftsmen can control the amount of clay very precisely and quickly. “One turn and one pull” and scraping are completed. Some purple sand kettles have pits and depressions inside, which means that when making them, the clay was not applied evenly. But don’t be too depressed when encountering such a situation, because it just proves that this pot is handmade.

Semi-manual teapot – Clay coating.

No matter if it’s fully handcrafted or semi-handcrafted, applying a layer of glaze mud is an unavoidable step; however, hand-pulling the clay and pouring the glaze are steps that are used less or not at all. This is why I always emphasize that “both fully handcrafted and semi-handcrafted are authentic purple sand teapots, and authentic purple sand teapots must be either fully handcrafted or semi-handcrafted.”

After the scraping process of appreciating beauty is completed, the bonding begins. The bonding technique for purple clay teapots is very strict. Each artist has his own unique experience regarding the timing and position reinforcement of bonding. However, everyone’s ultimate goal is the same, which is to ensure that the pot can meet daily use while achieving overall coordination and fine detail.

Furthermore, why is it that some people are able to make the same half-hand pot look beautiful when others make them look disjointed and out of place? Even the slightest misplacement of the bonding position can result in a huge difference.