The pot designs are used over and over again. The most famous designer was Cheng Man Sheng. He created 18 designs that are still used today. If you find a tea pot with his stamp on it, it is likely to be one of those 18 designs, but unlikely to be one he made himself. In the 18th century, the manufacture of teapots was very similar to the Ford's so called invention: specialized. First a designer, then one worker for the body, one for the handle, one for the mouth, one for the top and then one for oven. Today's teapot makers are doing it all themselves (like I did in July!)
Teamaster Chih taught us how to appretiate a teapot and not not believe the chop or name carved on the teapot. Important things to observe:
- the cover and its fit to the pot,
- a bottom that is a little bit elevated,
- the thickness of the pot,
- the quality of the clay...
Below is an exemple of teapots with similar/same design.