Japanese Cast Iron Teapots
These wonderful, pure cast iron teapots have been manufactured for centuries in an almost unchanged way. Today we cannot say whether these items have their origin in China or Japan. Japanese cast iron teapots are very elaborate; almost designer items of the utmost quality. The material has many favourable characteristics; cast iron keeps hot for a very long time, a warmer is hardly necessary, although it naturally increases the visual effect. The production has remained the same for centuries, and is very labour intensive. It essentially takes place via the following steps:
1: At first, experienced craftsmen form an aluminium mould, which has the same shape as the teapot that will be created. This mould is called a 'Kodate' in Japanese, and is also known as the outer mould. For the inside of the teapot, a second mould is made. This mould is made from sand. This is achieved by pressing sand with very high pressure into the aluminium mould. This is repeated until the sand mould has the desired shape and size, then the aluminium mould is taken off. It is called 'Nakago' in Japanese and is also known as the inner mould.
2: Liquid iron is now placed between the empty space of the inner and outer mould. After about 2-3 minutes, the sand mould is removed by hand. After a short cooling period, liquid enamel is poured inside the teapot.
3: The piece is heated up again, to guarantee a good distribution of the enamel inside the teapot.
4: After a further heating process, the outer surface is painted with a special lacquer, which is traditionally black, but nowadays also wonderful red, green and blue lacquers are being used. Please note that this lacquer is designed to fade and patinate with use like wood or leather and is considered a design element. It must be protected from contact with grease, detergents and salt and should not be rubbed to clean it. We cannot guarantee the finish if exposed to these products. Under normal use the lacquer will fade in an attractive way.
5: Now the teapot is annealed a further two times. After a cooling down period, it is rubbed with a special treatment by hand. The same intensive work process goes for the lid as well. Knowing this elaborate and complex production process, one can appreciate the high craftsmanship as well as the tradition behind it. We are most delighted to be able to offer a broad variety of these wonderful items.