This teapot is made from a different batch of modern zhuni clay as the Xishi. The color has an older, browner appearance.
The shape is simple, cute and familiar to many of you, I guess.
The walls below the lid are slightly inclined inwards. This small angle helps to make the lid fit tighter. It also requires more skill to make walls with an inclination. So, this is a sign of a skilled maker.
This teapot also has an inside golf ball shaped filter.
When looking inside, it appears that the inside 'skin' of the teapot is rougher than the outside. The potter told me he uses a tool to rub the outside 'skin' of the teapot to make it smoother. This glossy feeling will increase if you often brew tea in it.
I also asked why does it look like there was sand trapped in the clay. He makes this effect on purpose. To do this, he crushes failed zhuni teapots (zhuni has a high shrinkage rate, which explains why there is also a high failure rate during firing). These pots are crushed to small grains and this is then mixed together with the zhuni clay. Modern machines could crush the teapots more finely. But in older times, clay wasn't so fine, so adding these 'sandy' zhuni elements in the clay makes it more similar to traditional zhuni clay.
A reader from Vancouver sent me this picture of his cracked zhuni Duo Qio. How did it happen and what can we do to avoid a similar fate?
Winter is Vancouver is very cold. Our tea friend poured boiling water directly inside the teapot to pre-heat it. The hard zhuni clay wants to expand too quickly and cracks. (This can happen even to very experienced tea drinkers).
When our room is very cold, or the teapot very old or unused for a long time, we have to pre-heat our teapot more carefully, especially those made of the hard, less flexible, zhuni clay. My tea master, Teaparker, would first pour some hot water on the lid of the closed teapot to pre-heat the outside walls. Only then would he slowly pour hot water inside the teapot.