This is China Tea Spirit's developing guide on the shapes/styles of Yixing teapots. Click image to learn more.
Xi Shi, Shi Piao. If you are a Yixing teapot lover, you’ve probably heard these names before. There are hundreds and thousands of shapes of Yixing teapots, each with its own unique charm and significance.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Yixing teapot shapes, exploring their meanings, stories, and aesthetics. Whether you’re a collector or simply curious about these exquisite teapots, this article will provide you with the ultimate resource to learn and appreciate the diverse shapes of Yixing teapots. We will regularly update the content to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. Let us which shape style you’d like us to cover!
Round Shapes – 圆器
The round shape, known as “圆器” (yuán qì) in Chinese, is a classic and beloved style of Yixing teapots. With its harmonious curves and balanced proportions, the round teapot exudes timeless elegance.
The round shape is admired for its simplicity and versatility. Its smooth contours reflect the traditional Chinese aesthetics of balance and unity. This shape allows the natural beauty of the Yixing clay to shine through, showcasing its texture and color variations.
Square Shapes – 方器
The square shape, known as “方器” (fāng qì) in Chinese, is a distinctive style of Yixing teapots that embodies the concept of “square within round.” The craftsmanship of square teapots emphasizes the harmonious balance between straight lines and angles, as well as the relationship between lines and surfaces. The production process requires well-defined lines, clear contours, and precise proportions.
Special Shapes – 花器
Special shapes, known as “花器” (huā qì) in Chinese, are Yixing teapots that draw inspiration directly from the natural world, including fruits, flowers, plants, birds, animals, and fish. These teapots transform various natural forms observed in daily life into artistic designs using the techniques of purple clay craftsmanship.
The creation of special-shaped teapots follows the principle of being “derived from nature and surpassing nature.” The shapes should not only possess a moderate level of artistic exaggeration but also exhibit a deliberate and “carefree” style. The goal is to vividly capture and highlight the aesthetic value found in natural forms.
Ribbed Shapes – 筋纹器
Ribbed shapes, known as “筋纹器” (jīn wén qì) in Chinese, are a style of Yixing teapots inspired by the natural patterns found in melon ridges, flower petals, and flowing water. These patterns are refined and processed to create unique and intricate designs. The ribbed teapots can feature varying and intersecting lines, and the lid and body can be interchanged while maintaining a smooth and seamless fit.
Crafting ribbed teapots requires meticulous attention to detail. The ribbed patterns on the teapot’s surface should be consistent throughout the lid, body, and inner surface. The ribbed lines should be well-defined, uniform, and neatly arranged. The decorative patterns should flow seamlessly from the knob of the lid to the spout, creating a sense of harmony, beauty, and rhythm.