As the weather gets colder during the Winter season, your clay teapot faces the risks of cracking. This may even happen to people who’re very careful with their precious teapots. If this happens to you, your first thought would be that something was wrong with the quality. However, quality isn’t often the case of cracks to appear.
During Winter, when the ambient temperature is low, the temperature of the teapot will also be low. If you pour boiling water directly into the teapot, it may crack. This response is due to the rapid and drastic change in temperature, resulting in thermal expansion.
The key to avoid this, is to preheat your teapot. Here are some tips:
If no sufficient amount of clay was used around the joints such as the handle, the spout, the button of the lid, and the bottom of the teapot, or if the potter made the layer too thin, then these parts could be quite delicate. This isn’t because the artist want to save on material, it’s because thinner teapots sometimes look just finer and artists may therefore take the risk.
Fine cracks may also occur during the firing of the teapot, but such cracks are short, shallow and non-penetrating. Therefore, they are difficult to notice. However, these fine cracks won’t cause leaking and they won’t aggravate if you use the teapot correctly.
During the use of a teapot, small cracks can be caused by accidental bumping, and they are not easy to track down because of the deep colour of the teapot itself. These “injured” teapots are fragile and the cracks can easily become visible and get worse when exposed to severe temperature differences.
If a teapot isn’t used for a long time, the body will be excessively dry. The tiny porous holes of the purple clay will dry out, and the structure will be a little friable. In such a state, if you suddenly pour boiling water into the teapot, coupled with low indoor temperature, there’s a higher chance it may crack.
Avoiding cracks of zisha teapots is not hard, there are no complicated steps required. We are sure that your favourite zisha teapot will be perfectly intact, as long as you keep in mind to warm up the teapot with moderate temperature, handle it with care, and use it regularly!