Chaozhou Hong Ni "Shen Deng" Clay Teapot by Zhang Lin Hao
Chaozhou Hong Ni (red clay) has more than 6000 years of history. It became more popular in the Tang and Song dynasties as a clay of choice for cookware and kettles for boiling water.
Feng Xi area near Chaozhou (in Guangdong) is where the clay is mined. It's a mountainous area and the clay mined there is very fine and is easy to work when it's mixed with water. Typically the clay is worked on a wheel. Chaozhou Hong Ni after firing takes on a deep red-orange color and a natural sheen. The finer the clay used the more sheen the pot has. The clay has a very high level of iron oxide, it's very pliable and after firing contracts about 15%. Firing temperatures used in the local kilns are close to 1000 celsius.
The clay has a metallic sound when tapped together. The clay is highly porous but without allowing water to escape or soak in deeply.
Our pots are made by Zhang Lin Hao, who is a third generation teapot maker in Chaozhou. From the age of 8 years old he first started to spend time with his grandfather (a master teapot maker) where he was imbued with the the knowledge and culture of this unique craft. Zhang Lin Hao beats and mixes the clay and then shapes the pots on a wheel in the traditional way. After the pots are fired he makes the covers to match each pot as the high contraction rates make it impossible to predict the post-kiln diameter of the opening.
Chaozhou Hong Ni pots are excellent for all teas, but a perfect choice for Dan Cong Oolongs.