Posted 3 months ago
Took a break from Outlander, just finished re-watching season three and starting season four. Really dry here and my eyes are rebelling so decided to rest them and put together the new shelves for my teapot collection and toss them on to it. I have posted about two thirds of the kyusu (teapots) and most of the nabeshiki (trivets) to CW. I don't have enough to fill the shelves, yet, though I have three very interesting ones in the mail which should just about fill it, so plugged the holes with okimono and teacups made from cast iron and pottery. This shelving gave me some well needed organization in the black hole corner of my kitchen and I was able stack some emergency kitty supplies at the bottom and layer my large jars for storing various mixes in on top of that. It is nice that teapots are no longer scattered around the house. Teapots made by Japanese foundries Iwachu, Oigen and Oitomi are represented. Makers of two kyusu are unidentified.
I secured the shelf to the window frame so there should be no accidents. I was going to buy a set of bamboo shelves which are about three times the cost of this set, but decided I would go with this cheaper set until I decide if this was a good idea, or not. Each shelf is rated for 20 lbs, so I think it will be fine. The bamboo shelves are rated for 33 lbs per shelf. The teapots range in weight from about 2-3.5 lbs.
I have decided that I do not like using metal trivets with metal teapots as both suffer scratches and wear from the contact. I will probably switch to wooden trivets, instead, and just display or store the metal ones. I put some of the teapots on trivets and will see how that works out.
One thing that I have discovered about using these teapots for multiple infusions of brewing from the same tea leaves is that it is a real pain to remove the infuser/strainer between brews. It, and the pot, are hot and it is slippery as an eel. Not such a big problem with very small pots as they are mostly emptied with one pour, but the leaves do move to one side of the infuser in the process. It is a real pain for larger pots in which the infuser would stay partly submerged after the initial pour or pours as the tea would continue to brew, resulting in something undrinkable. If you look at image 2, the large black teapot on the far right, you will see a small orange handle sticking out. That handle is attached to the infuser/strainer, making it very easy to remove it. It came with a regrettably broken in shipment used Mashiko Ware kyusu but it fits perfectly in my largest (by volume) Iwachu hobnail teapot. I have been unable to locate the source for it, but would love to find these in various sizes for all of my kyusu.
The window in the image was actually once the old side door to the house but the previous owners turned it into a window, perhaps 70 or 80 years ago and moved the side door to the back of the house. There was cracking around the window when I moved in 22 years ago and it has only gotten slightly worse, but I have not taken the time to patch it and it can be seen behind the shelves. Seems to be stable.... Four generations of the same family lived in this house before selling it in the early 1990s. Luckily they were not big remodelers so much of the house is still original 1880s.
Updated to add two new teapots..
Image #2: Second teapot from the right. This small kyusu is unlined, which suggests it has some age to it, perhaps pre-1960s. It has an unusual design which I have only seen once or twice before. I don't know how to describe it. Maybe flowing water running over a few stones? I would have to dedicate a post to it to get better details. It was probably bought as a souvenir in Japan and never used. It is in new condition but has one bad rust spot the lower half which I will fix after doing some research. It has the original heat treated interior finish on the inside but the interior of the top part of the pot was not done so has a light coat of surface rust on it. I will need to research how to fix that, too. It is interesting to see where the exterior black finish was brushed on and the bristles of the brush went into the pot in a few places leaving some black inside. It is signed on the top of the pot to the right of the spout as it is facing the viewer, another suggestion that this is an older pot. I have do idea who made this one. Probably about a 6-8 ounce pot and has a very thin, solid aluminum strainer.
Image #3: Second pot from the right. This is a smaller, light brown Iwachu hailstone teapot. It is brand new with infuser. The seller described the lid as having a gouge in the urushi lining which was shown in the images. Wiping with a damp cloth removed it so, it was not damage, just dirt. No idea why I find so many new condition Iwachu and Oigen kyusu. This one shows no signs of use. I paid a bit less than a quarter of what a new kyusu costs minus any shipping charges. It has what I call the Reiwa mark on it.
I am now uncertain about how Iwachu marked their products as I found what I call the Showa mark 1926-1989 on a Tevana labeled pot and that company was created in 1997. Dang.
I am not going to do a separate post for these two new kyusu unless someone wants to see them. Guessing CWers are getting tired of my kyusu posts. I am also wrestling with an eye infection caused by using some contaminated eye drops and having trouble focusing. Very difficult for me to take pictures right now. I may post them in the future, though.