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Arare themed Japanese tetsu kyusu

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Japanese Metalwork33 of 102Iwachu cast iron dog okimonoPlum branch themed tetsu kyusu by Oitomi
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    Posted 10 months ago

    (835 items)

    This arare (hobnail) pattern tetsu kyusu (cast iron teapot) 2.5" (6.25 cm) high x 5.5" (14 cm) in diameter, weighs 2.4 lbs (1 kg) and holds exactly 16 ounces (.5 L) of water. It has a very clear foundry mark, which I have not yet investigated. The urushi coating has a green tinge. The original infuser came with the pot. As is true with most of my pots, it is a green sand cast, mass produced pot. It has subtle signs of a high quality pot, though. For instance, file marks from the final hand finishing of the pot have all been removed as have all sharp edges. This pot benefited from a lot of hand finishing. I have had this one for a while, but have not posted it for reasons I will explain below.

    I bought this one because it was very inexpensive and has an extremely clear foundry mark which I currently don't have an example of. I am trying to build up a collection which has pots with a variety of very clear foundry marks which, I hope, will eventually enable me to identify which foundries made them. I am also copying images of many tetsu kyusu, not buying them, and building a library of styles and marks. I have not started that process with tetsubin (kettles) and not sure if I will do so. Tetsubin are large and much pricier than tetsu kyusu.

    I found this one in an on line auction, advertised as an estate find in new condition. Probably another paperweight. It also has a post type finial which is a bit different from the others in my collection. The only question mark was that the surface had a "fuzzy" look to it in the seller's images, which I assumed was probably just dust the seller didn't take time to clean off. I don't recall for sure, but I think it was "Buy it now" at a very cheap price. When it came, I realized that it must have come from a smoker's home and the pot was covered in residue from tobacco smoke. It was really disgusting, very tacky to the touch and had trapped a lot of dust, etc.

    I generally do not recommend washing tetsu kyusu in soapy water but that seemed to me to be the least invasive way to clean it up. I gave it a bit of a soak and went over it with an old soft bristle toothbrush which removed most of the tackiness and revealed a fairly brilliant green urushi finish. It is still a bit tacky in places, so I may have to repeat the process once or twice more to get it cleaned up, but it is cleaned enough to post, so here it is. Like new, except for some wear to the bottom.

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    1. kwqd kwqd, 10 months ago
      Thanks Kevin, jscott0363, aura and dav2no1!
    2. racer4four racer4four, 10 months ago
      The colour of this, now cleaned, is very appealing.
      If soap and water are not good for the finish Kevin what would you normally do to clean these? Is the finish quite delicate?
    3. kwqd kwqd, 10 months ago
      Normally, I would just give it a good brushing with a stiff nylon bristle brush to loosen/remove any debris and then wipe it with a soft towel with a thick nap. Then I would make green tea in it, empty it and then wipe the outside down with a cloth soaked in the green tea while the pot is still hot. Repeat if necessary. The green tea treatment is routine maintenance for Japanese pots. The normal finish is not delicate if it is not colored, it just needs to be maintained to keep it clean and to prevent rusting.

      It depends on how a pot is colored as for how delicate the finish is. Sometimes it comes off very easily.
    4. kwqd kwqd, 10 months ago
      Thanks for your comment, Karen!
    5. kwqd kwqd, 10 months ago
      Soap disrupts protective coating imparted by the green tea. If a pot is washed with soapy water and not then treated with green tea, it will be susceptible to rusting.
    6. racer4four racer4four, 10 months ago
      That seems so very Japanese, to protect a teapot with tea. Cool.
    7. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 9 months ago
      I love the color of this one!
      And like Karen said, “that seems so Japanese”, I had no clue soap and water could cause rust!
      Even if dried completely?
      This tea pot shows quality! Love the little curve of the spout!
    8. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks for your comments Eileen! It is really just the water that causes the rusting. These little pots can't be oiled and don't acquire a finish from use like a cast iron skillet does. If they are just being stored after making tea, rinsing them with very hot water and wiping them down with a cloth soaked in green tea will prevent rust, but getting them wet at room temperature causes them to rust very quickly. If you see one of these little pots that is rusty it is because it has not been properly cared for. Rusting is preventable.

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