The other day I wrote that I’d post some more pictures of the unprocessed clay in the yard of Hēnglì táocí chǎng as well as their processing equipment, so here we go.
This is what (part of) their yard looks like.
This raw clay material gets fed from above into those 2 machines which will grind it into the desired grain-size.
The resulting grain-size is controlled by a sieve which determines what is being let out of the machine and what still has to stay in until it’s small enough. Those sieves are changeable and have different mesh sizes. Here is what one of them looks like up close:
When the clay comes out it is a powder looking like this:
some mixing and mainly adding of water:
and then is being pressed into sell-able bars whilst some water is being added still:
Most of the machinery in those pictures wasn’t used that particular day (or even week, guessing based on the dust layer) the last machine which presses out the ready pieces was being operated whilst we where there and we had a chance to get all the information above from the workers on site.
So here is what the clay that came out fresh that day looked like:
That was it so far about how Yixing zisha clays are being produced mainly these days, if it is done by one of the bigger official suppliers that is, but if you remember the pictures of Huanglongshan I posted a while back, I showed freshly dug holes where people have been sourcing clay… well, that’s gotta go somewhere too, right? So next time I might give you some impressions and maybe some insights how it’s done the less official way.