This teapot is from a beautiful set of Lizella Clay pots made by Mark Mohler. The Lizella Clay is from Georgia near where he grew up and went to school, and the pots were the first batch made in his studio in Pittsburgh. The clay will turn a really nice reddish brown as it absorbs tea oils through use over time. There is a filter built into the clay behind the spout.
This pot is 55 ml and is a good shape for rolled tea, red tea, green tea, or puerh.
This pot was fired to cone six (1200C, 2200F) in a gas reduction kiln I built for my studio this year. The clay is Lizella, dug from a creek bed in middle Georgia by the same family for decades. It is strong and stable allowing me to make surprisingly light vessels that take well to the stresses of use. As with any tea vessel over time the pot will benefit from being used only for teas with similar flavor profiles, but this clay is not very porous and can therefor be used for a variety of teas.
I love this clay. I’ve been using it since my time in college almost a decade ago. After so long working with it I feel confident that I found the right processes to bring out its best qualities. The surface of the fired clay is rough, not rough as in bumpy but rough on a micro scale. The high iron content of the clay allows me to manipulate the way the crystalline structures of the clay behave and when you apply enough reduction the surface becomes a chocolate brown to burgundy color with very high surface area. This high surface area means that water and tea oils interact with the clay in beautiful and unusual ways. Water evaporates faster than expected from the surface, and the tea oils left behind can lend a metallic sheen.