This is an entirely hand-made teapot crafted by lifetime Yixing artisan Wang Zhen Xue.
This "Watermelon" (Líng guā hú 菱瓜壶) style pot is made of Da Hong Pao Clay. Wang Zhen Xue is well-known for this technique which requires a high level of skill and considerable time to both master and apply.
Wang Zhen Xue (b. 1958) has been hand-crafting teapots since 1980, graduating from the Yixing Arts University and worked under master Li Hong. He not only hand shapes and the teapots, but also does the mixed color clay facades that adorn many of his creations including this one!
Da Hong Pao clay comes from the west side of the Fudong township of Yixing in Jiangsu province. At the boundary of Rentu village and Hongwei village is a small mining area, which produces this delicate double-layer clay. High in iron oxide, it takes on a crimson color after roasting in a kiln (Note: Da Hong Pao means "Crimson Robe" in Chinese). This is high density clay of exquisite quality with a high degree of crystallization. It brews tea that is soft, smooth, and great tasting. Over time brewing tea gives the teapot a highly pleasing bright red color. This type of clay is extremely rare. It produces excellent tasting tea and is highly acclaimed.
Mining area: western Fudong township of Yixing city
Kiln temperature: approx. 1040 C.
Contraction: approx. 45%-55%.
Appropriate for brewing: fresh Oolong teas (light roasted types) are extremely well-suited, Tie Guan Yin, as well as medium roasted or highly roasted types like Rock Oolongs and Dan Cong. This clay is also suitable various kinds of Pu-erh (ripe and raw).
[Artist Name] Wang Zhen Xue
[Product Name] "Watermelon" (Líng guā hú 菱瓜壶)
Every pot is hand-made and the artisan will sometimes change the stamps they use. There may also be some slight differences in the color, handle shape, and volume. It's not possible for us to re-take the pictures for each new batch of teapots that we receive from this artisan. Some differences in the color and shininess of the actual teapot you receive as compared to the one in the photographs may also be due to light conditions when the photographs are taken. Thanks for your understanding!