Silver Lining

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

teapot before

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.

teapot progress

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.

teapot after

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.