The book of Records of Famous Teapots in Yangxian said, "Dong Han,started to make the Ling-flower pattern ware, and they were exquisite already". What is Ling-flower? It is a kind of herbaceous aquatic vegetation. The leaf which floating on the water are rhombus, with white floating leaf bags, the fruitages are hard, so it always called as "Ling Jiao" (water chestnut). Now we could not imagine how the Ling-flower pattern ware was which made by Dong Han. But it is common that Ling-flower pattern decorated the bronze mirror. The mirrors were always six-comer shape, eight comer shape. Some of them carved the maker's name or the flower's name on the back of mirror, there was a poem in Tang Dynasty written by Yang Ling, it was said a imperial concubine "even had a Ling-flower pattern mirror, I am too old to dare not watching it in front of King". People still loved the Ling-flower in Song & Yuan Dynasties, since it was normal that the Ling-flower pattern appeared on the teapot. If used the Ling-flower pattern into the designed pattern of purple clay teapot, it should be the rip pattern teapot what we see now.
The rip pattern had already appeared on the gold and silver ware in Northern Dynasty. And it became prevalent in Tang Dynasty.
The rip pattern appeared on the lacquerworks in Five Dynasties, such as flower pattern square black lacquer box and so on.
Although above-mentioned kinds of different materials rip pattern wares were manufactured in different periods, their basic shapes were coming from the natural fruit and flowers, ect. The art styles are so different, bronze ware is dignified and conservative, the gold and silver ware is gorgeous, the lacquerwork is simple with exquisite decoration. The famous purple clay teapots in Ming Dynasty were simple without decorations, we can see the modeling effects of these ware from the shape of teapots.
In the develop processing of Yixing purple clay teapot, the appearance of rip pattern teapots should be behind the mature modeling technique appearance. The early style of rip pattern teapots should be processed base on the roundish ware, from simple to complicated. During the processing, be familiar with clay, got inspirations come from the shape of other vessels, pictured and regularized the flowers and fruits in nature, after organization the patterns, separated a teapot into pieces and used the rip lines managing the shape clear and fluent. This style of rip pattern teapot not only required the elegant shape, but also need the exquisite handcrafts, especially the cover part, it should be tight and can be turn around, a small mistake should influence the integral effect.
We can not know how the teapot made by Dong Han was according to historical documents, but the steady rip pattern teapots in hundreds of years included: first, roundish line rip pattern, such as pumpkin teapot, melon rip teapot, chrysanthemum teapot, roundish rip flat teapot, plum blossom pattern teapot, half chrysanthemum teapot, etc. Second, sunflower decorative rip pattern teapot, such as narcissus petals pattern teapot, six narcissus petals pattern teapot, eight narcissus petals pattern teapot, half-Ling (Trapa natans) teapot, combined-Ling teapot, Ling teapot with lotus leaf, four-sides Trapanatansteapot, etc. Third, box shape of rip pattern teapot, such as box shape teapot, imitated ancient box shape teapot with three feet standing.
Once we mentioned about the earliest rip pattern teapot, it should be the melon rip teapot which collected by Asian Art Museum in San-Francisco City of USA, an inscription as "Jushi Dabin".The pot body is composed by l8 fore-and-aft rips pattern, the rips lead out of the top to the bottom, neat lines are all exquisite. This is the typical style of sphere rip pattern teapot. Whether is teapot made by Dabin, it still be a question, three doubtful points, first of a11, this one is too exquisite to lack of old traditional simplicity and dignified spirits which belonged to the style in late-Wanli Period; secondly, the modeling technique of rip pattern teapot was harder than the round teapot, it needed some special tools, so it always be considered demanding embodiment; thirdly, its inscription was so different to the three pieces of true Dabin teapots which collected inland were famous inscription, this one could not be sure. And about its time, the inscription signed as 1609, the earliest teapot made by Dabin in the historical documents is 1607, so this should be the early work of Dabin's.
Roundish line rip pattern
* Pumpkin teapot, Kangxi Period in Qing Dynasty, Chen Mingyuan made. This one is the earliest rip pattern in subsistent pieces of works which collected by Nanjing Museum and made by Chen Mingyuan. He was a famous potter in Kangxi Period, Qing Dynasty, he continued the Chen Zhongmei's tradition, and made lots of combinational teapot with the natural pattern and rip pattern. This teapot is one of the works, it is an orbicular pumpkin shape as the body, the rip pattern is nature and vivid, the root is the cover, a curl leave made as flow-mouth, the venations carved true to life extremely, the overall shape is harmony and natural, full filled with the feelings of garden city. This teapot can be considered as a good work in the early time of rip pattern roundish teapots.
* Chrysanthemum teapot, Yongzheng Period in Qing Dynasty. This one is made out later than Mingyuan's teapots. There is a convex raised line design on the middle of belly,a cernuours chrysanthemum an the other upwards chrysanthemum combined, so it was called as "merge chrysanthemum teapot". Convex petals between petals and petals, the shape is elegant and beautiful, it can be considered as the great work in Yongzheng and Qianlong Periods.
After Jiaqing Period, it appeared the small roundish rip pattern flat teapots, most used the red clay and tend to an exquisite technique.
* Plum blossom pattern roundish plate teapot, the Republic of China period, Yu Guoliang made, it should be an variation of roundsih rip pattern wares.
* Half chrysanthemum teapot, Moder times, Wang Yuchun made the shpa is similar to the covered chrysanthemum, composed by the 16 equidistant round lines, the rip extended from cover to bottom, button is the bud of chrysanthemum, the shape is steady without heaviness.
* Xi-chrysanthemum teapot, Moder times, Wang Shigeng made. This one is belong to the rip pattern teapots, only the reverse roundish rips are concave round item.
* Lotus propitious teapot, Moder times, Gu Jingzhou made. The one is belonged to the compound body of rip pattern and natural pattern, the pot body is lotus, the cover is lotus feed shape, it appeares small and big round items.
* Four-sides comers teapot, Moder times, He Daohong made. The teapot combined the roundish item style of convex and concave rip pattern together, got rich of changes, paid lots of attention on the front horizontal effects.
Sunflower decorative rip pattern wares
The basic shape of the sunflower decorative rip pattern ware was the floral disc of sunflowers,the transverse section of teapot is similar to the shape of sunflower, most of them are six petals,some are realism style and some are variation. The middle part is lower than each sides such as sunflower teapot, the middle part is higher than each sides such as imitated sunflower teapot, another shape is fell in between, the rip pattern is square sides and round lines. Three of these are all the sunflower decorative rip pattern teapots, but with lots of differences on the modeling.
* Sunflower teapot, Wanli Period in Ming Dynasty. It seems like the mature sunflower flat teapot was reversed, emphasized the flower handle part, the button is connection between the handle and branch, the flow-mouth is four square beams and compressed, and the underbelly is round. The total shape is realism and get rich of changements, contains a great power of conception. There is an inscription as "Dabin made in Wanli spring". Chongqing City Museum has a same collection.
* Imitated ancient sunflower teapot, the Republic of China period, Feng Guilin made. Compareing with the sunflower teapot, only a few differences existed between the rip pattern convex and concave shape. The cover is similar to the back of sunflower, button looks like the blossoming flower bud, the body is composed by 6 lines which is lengthways and equidistant, it is symmetrical from shoulder to bottom. The overall shape is round.
* Happy flat teapot, moder times, Wang Yuchun made. Compareing this one with the two pieces above-mentioned, the body change into cylinder,emphasizes the flat sides of teapot, the style of lateral surface is simple and unsophisticated, the streak of rip pattern is clear.
These three pieces of sunflower style teapot above-mentioned, so big changes even though all of them are based on the sunflower shape, every shape embodies the personal aesthetic of purple clay potters in different periods.
The transverse section of the Ling flower pattern teapot is identical with the outline of Ling flower mirror. Every rip streak is high middle and low either side, the joints of two rip streaks are concave, with its tangent plane is six petals of narcissus pattern, composed by six petals and twelve rip streaks.
* Narcissus petals pattern teapot, Qianlong Period in Qing Dynasty, Yin Shang made. Now, it is collected by Nanjing Museum. The shape is six petals of narcissus pattern, and these petals are convergent to become the mouth, the rip pattern of cover inosculates with the rip pattern of pot body, the bud is button with added flat bottom, seems like six-petals narcissus shape, the flow-mouth and handle are thin and six-sides, similar to the branch of narcissus, to coordinate with the overlook, with exquisite and meticulous modeling, the manipulations of streaks are clean and simple, it is an excellent work in Qianlong Period, Qing Dynasty.
* Combined-Ling teapot, the Republic of China period, Fan Dasheng made. The water chestnut pattern carved on the middle of belly, seemed like the water chestnut when overlooking, the underbelly similar to the blooming water chestnut, they are connected, so called it as "Combined-Ling". The mutation of convex-concave changed the traditional represent methods of long direction of rip pattern, the modeling is harder than the rip pattern in the past. The shape of button is equal to the pot body, no matter look at the front horizontally or side-glance, the shape is abound change.
* Ling (water chestnut) teapot, Moder times, Gu Jingzhou made. A raised line design carved on the convex part of belly, connected the upside and underbelly by the petals of water chestnut, and they are symmetrical. The shape of mouth got the same shape with bottom, and the shape of cover is coordinate with the water chestnut pattern and the teapot body.
* Precious Ling teapot, Moder times, Shi Xiaoma made. Compare this one to the two above mentioned, this one is much more concerning on the geometric plane surface of teapot, the lateral surface is clean, simple and in good taste. The streaks of rip pattern are slender. It is similar to the Happy flat teapot on some parts.
Box shape of rip pattern teapot
The major products included Imitated ancient sunflower teapot, this shape was imitating the modeling form of bronze vessels, gave a person with sedate, quaint aesthetic feeling.
Besides all of above-mentioned, there still had some forms of natural pattern mixing with rip pattern, and some other geometrical teapots such as sunflower roundish teapots, six-square cloud pattern teapot, square-Ling teapot, Fangchun teapot, etc. In recent years, some practitioners are searching for the understanding of modeling according to the market requirements, they are looking for a new change method on rip streaks in the surrounding areas.