An Yixing ware teapot with openwork 'loukong' design of Bamboo.
Yixing clay teapots (simplified Chinese: 宜兴; traditional Chinese: 宜興; pinyin: Yíxīng; Wade–Giles: I-Hsing) (also called Purple Sand (simplified Chinese: 紫砂; pinyin: zǐshā; Wade–Giles: tsu sha) are made from Yixing clay. This traditional style commonly used to brew tea originated in China, dating back to the 15th century, and are made from clay produced in the region of the town of Yixing in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu.
Archaeological excavations reveal that as early as the Song Dynasty (10th century) potters near Yixing were using local "zhisha" clay to make utensils that could have functioned as teapots. The late Ming Dynasty author Zhou Gaoqi stated that during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor (1502–1521) a monk from Jinsha Temple (Golden Sand Temple) in Yixing handcrafted a fine quality teapot from local clay. Such fine quality teapots soon became popular with the scholarly class, and the fame of Yixing teapots began to spread.