Silver Lining

For a few years now, I’ve been watch­ing the patina grow on my favorite teapot.

In the West­ern mar­ket, tea drinkers often end up buy­ing a few pots in the begin­ning that don’t quite “fit.”

Maybe the size is wrong, the clay is poor, or is sim­ply not a match to any of our desired teas. Per­haps the shape and crafts­man­ship are just not pleas­ing to us.

Own­ing bad teapots, expe­ri­enced col­lec­tors will remind you, is “tuition” that helps you start to rec­og­nize bet­ter teapots from the others.

After a hand­ful of these tuition pots, this shui ping was the first pot I pur­chased with both excel­lent clay and artistry, and it has been in con­tin­u­ous use ever since.

A few months ago, I knocked it off the table and onto the floor while rush­ing to set up for tea. I could hardly stand to look at the dam­age, let alone take a photo. There was noth­ing to be glued back together, the tip of the spout was com­pletely pulverized.

By some mir­a­cle, teachum Pamela was on the scene — with a Master’s degree in jew­elry design and a pen­chant for dig­ging up unusual materials.

Inspired by a 19th cen­tury repair, she crafted a sil­ver cap to replace the dam­aged part of the spout.

For bond­ing, she man­aged to secure a small amount of med­ical grade sil­i­cone along with a hard­en­ing agent. This is the same stuff used in pros­thetic limbs, and now, in pros­thetic teapots.

With its new spout affixed, my teapot is back in fight­ing shape, and look­ing bet­ter than ever. It seems like it might even pour a bit faster than before.

I couldn’t be more pleased to be brew­ing in my favorite pot once again.

10 thoughts on “Silver Lining

  1. I have sim­i­larly dam­aged teapots — one with whole spout bro­ken off and sec­ond with bro­ken handle.

    Do you think Pamela could help me to fix them? Can I get a contact ?

  2. Excel­lent. It’s acci­dent and sub­se­quent repair have added mys­tique and esteem…much like I imag­ine hap­pens to a pirate upon receiv­ing his first eye-patch or wooden peg-leg.

    Obvi­ously, the crafts­man­ship is bet­ter on the teapot though. It looks great.

  3. Nice!

    I’m curi­ous about is how it will look when (if?) the sil­ver blackens.

  4. I really love how Yix­ing teapots is how they evolve over time, and become bet­ter with use. This story is a per­fect exam­ple of that.

    I also really like the object that you have the teapot sit­ting on top of. It com­ple­ments the Yix­ing clay perfectly.

  5. Man, I am really sorry you had to go through the ini­tial pang, but that is such a great happy ending!

    Maybe I’m going too far here, but I can’t help won­der­ing if, as when one res­cues an injured ani­mal, the pot and you are now more thor­oughly bonded and devoted to one another than ever before…

    In any case, may you make much won­der­ful tea together for many years to come.

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