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In addition to its practical use as a teapot, the purple clay pot also has recreational attributes, which can be said to have been indispensable on scholars’ desks since the Qing Dynasty.
The inscriptions on the purple-clay pot by literati have also added a cultural attribute to the pot. Nowadays, we can often see short words and phrases such as “tea and Zen”, “blessing wind” and “smoothness” inscribed on the body of a purple-clay pot.
So when we choose a custom made purple-clay teapot, what should we engrave on the pot so that it doesn’t appear tacky? Let’s explore this today.
Cut to fit the shape of a teapot.
Like a gourd-shaped ewer, it can be inscribed: “Made in the style of Eastern Tombs, filled with fragrant snow milk.”
This is taken from “Records of the Grand Historian”: “Shao Ping was the Marquis of Dongling for the state of Qin. After Qin was defeated, he became a commoner in poverty and planted melons east of Chang’an city. The melons were so beautiful that they were named Dongling melons after Shao Ping.”
The metaphor of Dongling Hou, elevates the function of a purple-clay pot for steeping tea to an exquisitely sublime realm.
Round jars can be inscribed with: Smooth and Unhindered Dao of the Law’s Gate.
Meaning: Nothing is lacking in virtue, no obstacles are insurmountable, no task is too hard to accomplish, and no action is inappropriate; this is what harmony means.
Famous couplet: Auspicious clouds adorn the sky, gathering in a halo of radiance.
When the door is closed, it is a deep mountain.
This is an extract from Chen Ji-Ru’s “The Chronicles of the Little Window”: When the door is shut, it’s like a deep mountain; reading books can make any place pure.
Approach things with a tranquil and peaceful frame of mind, keeping your heart as a pure and clear land.
Three hearts cannot be obtained, but one ladle can be obtained.
Citing the Diamond Sutra: The past mind cannot be attained, the present mind cannot be attained, the future mind cannot be attained.
Having no place to settle the heart, all hearts are not true; a ladle of tranquility and living, that is the still heart.
In the cold night, tea can be a substitute for wine.
The customers left, but the sweet taste of tea lingered on their tongues.
Separately using the classics “Cold Night” and “Late Prosperity”, expressing the feeling of having tea with friends, as if bathed in a spring breeze.
Gracefully elegant, it can also be broken down and used separately.
Have a cup of tea.
Boil the sweet springs and burn the red leaves.
A cool breeze, a bright crescent moon – an enchanting night.
Boiling Sweet Spring | Dedicated to the Lian Tea House at Changling: A scoop of sweet spring, bringing refreshment to the guests.
Burning red leaves | A quote from Bai Juyi’s poem: Warm wine was burning red leaves in the forest, and a poem was inscribed on the stone with green moss sweeping.
After the library closes, the couplet reads: Deep in the night, after closing time, only half of the window is lit by the moonlight, and a lone couch sits in a cool breeze.
Brilliant ideas, expressing the inner craving for a peaceful, free and secluded life.
What if Yumegawa Womatsu boils autumn water in the wind?
The Emerald Lord, Zhi Lu Tian, wrote the poem “Seven Bowls of Tea”: Seven bowls can’t be eaten after all, yet one still feels a pleasant breeze from both sides. Where is Penglai Mountain? The son of Yuchuan (Tian) is going home riding on this cool breeze.
The pine wind originates from the inscription on the teapot of Man-shi: The pine wind is used to brew tea and bamboo rain talks about poetry.
The surname of Mingtang is
“Inheritance” is highly valued by Chinese people. Engraving the family hall name, family motto, surname etc. on a teapot can even better reflect the family background.
It is also a tribute to one’s personal history and search for origin, a love for the homeland.
Imitate the handwriting of a master.
This type of work reflects refinement and requires a certain level of skill, such as calligraphy, brushwork by the two great masters Mi Fu and Wang Xizhi, or imperial handwriting.