It's been over a week since my last article. Sorry for keeping you waiting. I didn't see the time fly away. And that's also how I managed to damage my iron Dragon tetsubin.
A few days ago, I got so busy answering my e-mails that I forgot that I was heating water in the tetsubin on the gas stove. The water level was low and quickly dried up. Then, for several minutes, the gas was heating the empty tetsubin. Heating an empty tetsubin is a major mistake. It should never happen.
I know why now: several cracks have appeared on near the bottom of my tetsubin, where the heat was strongest. In the picture below is the most important one. When I tried to use the tetsubin again (after it had cooled down) water slowly dripped out of these cracks. Luckily, the cracks are quite small and very little water was coming out. I called a tea master friend (and collector of ancient tetsubins) to ask him if there was anything I could do to repair the damage.
I followed his advice: I boiled some rice in the tetsubin until it became porridge. Then I waited until it become cold, removed the porridge, cleaned the pot and waited another night. Now, when I'm using the tetsubin, the water has stopped leaking from these cracks. What a relief! And how amazing that something as common and natural as rice could repair an iron kettle!