About Yixing Zisha Clay Teapot - Duan Ni 缎泥

Ben Shan Lu Ni is form along within the layers of the Huang Long Mountain rock formation as well as the purple mud. This mud’s ancient name is also known as the “Li Pi Mud” (Pear Skin Mud) or the “Dragon Tendons”. This mud is relatively scarce and precious due to its scarce sources, difficult in mining and forming. The color of the mud is generally beige after putting into fire. The combination of Ben Shan Lu Ni and purple mud is used to produce “Duan Ni” when mixing together. This kind of mud needs very high fire temperature during pot production and it is a very difficult process compare to the production of other pots using different kind of muds. “Sesame Duan” is an excellent kind of “Duan Ni” which we see commonly. 

As we can see from the sample pictures, the base color of the Ben Shan Lu Ni is not pure. You can find white and black particles integrated into the beige base color. There are usually more black particles inside, but it is certainly that the black is surrounded by the yellow and white particles in a granules form. Therefore, it is not very prominent. Layering between the particles is not particularly obvious. The overall color of the pot will appear beige, like having a layer of beige chiffon surrounding all the particles. The overall look of the pot look and feel like there is a layer of running water on the surface of the pot. 

“Sesame Duan” is completely opposite to "Ben Shan Lu Ni” in terms of layer. Its base color is partial white, slightly dull with black and reddish particles in it. The lack of white particles and the contrast in color make these black and reddish particles very prominent. Overall, the base color and layering of the particles are relatively clear in “Sesame Duan”. When comparing with “Ben Shan Lu Ni, it is as if having colored dot all over this thin layer of dull white chiffon. From the density of the dark particles, it is clear that “Sesame Duan” have significantly larger black particles density. The color of “Sesame Duan” is highlighted and the layer of it is much clearer. Although “Sesame Duan” also has white particles, but the numbers are small and visibility is low. In whole, the tone of “Sesame Duan” is cold and rigid. Unlike “Mountain Green mud” which is gentle and soft with tenderness. Although, the density of the beige particles within “Mountain Green mud” give it a brighter look when compare with “Sesame Duan”, “Sesame Duan” shows surpassed domineering. 

The differences between the clays are even more obvious after using the pot for brewing tea for a period of time. “Ben Shan Lu Ni” will show greenish, the beige base color will become more intense, soft and moist like Jade. In contrast, the red particles in “Sesame Duan” will become dark red. If the pot is use to brew Puerh Tea, the effect will be even faster and more obvious. Long term brewing with Pureh turns the pot to grow in reddish color. “Ben Shan Lu Ni” feels smooth before and even after brewing with tea, “Sesame Duan” in contract feel rough and grainy.

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