Yu Ru Da Hong Pao Yixing Clay Pot
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“Yu ru” meaning “milk drop” is a popular Yixing teapot shape. It’s most prominent feature is the way in which its lid integrates with the curved lines of the pot’s body. This shape has a classic feel, evocative of the shape of old Chinese wine vessels.
This pot is crafted from a specific subtype of the rare Zhu Ni clay. Zhu Ni clay comes in different types with different characters and there are many commercial names, such as “Ni Pi Zhu Ni”, “Shui Wen Zhu Ni”, and “Da Hong Pao Zhu Ni”, “Xiao Hong Pao Zhu Ni”, “Huang Zhu Ni”, “Hei Zhu Ni”, and many more. Some of these types are derived from blending with iron-rich Shi Huang clay or even straight iron powder. This particular clay is not a blend — it is naturally rich in iron. The clay is known as Da Hong Pao or “Big Red Robe” and comes from Huang Long Mountain near Yixing. Da Hong Pao Yixing clay is named for the way its final color matches the deep red infusion of the famous Rock Wulong tea, Da Hong Pao.
In contrast to its rich final color, wet Da Hong Dao clay appears yellow. After it is carefully fired it becomes a reddish tangerine color, then the pot maker quickly pours hot water over the vessel, which turns the clay its final deep red color. Due to the very high amount of iron in this clay, it is expected to shrink nearly 30% during firing — providing a great test for a master’s skill. The pot maker must watch the temperature very closely and keep the kiln at an even 1080 to prevent breakage from the shrinking.