I remember when I first bought this teapot, I was quite excited. It had a nice patina on it already, as it was used, and it was the perfect size for me. As you can see, I’m still using it for puerh, as I have since the day of the purchase. It’s been….. about two years since I got it. During this time, it went through some changes, and I remember, to my dismay, that the patina started peeling off a little. The original patina, it turns out, was somehow more like a little film of shine on top of the pot itself. When I rubbed the pot, it would rub off a little. Gradually, there was a little ring near the bottom of the pot as well as some lines forming underneath the spout. The patina was cracking, so to speak.
So I decided to rub off all of the patina, which I did.
That happened in Beijing. I remember I spent probably half an hour doing it, and when it was done, the pot became a lot duller. I wondered to myself if I did the right thing.
Now, after another year of use, the pot has gradually taken on a bit of a shine again, but the type of shine is different. It’s no longer the rather glossy shine that it used to have, but instead has a slightly dull surface, but you can sort of tell it is not quite “dull” when you look at the pot.
I don’t usually rub my pots when I use them, and don’t really do anything these days to actively try to season them. I just use them. Over time, I’ve discovered that that’s probably the best way to let them season — regular and repeated (and careful) use will, eventually, give the pots a nice sheen. It just takes time and patience.