Zisha (red stoneware) is a kind of ceramic product between pottery and porcelain. It has the porcelain features of compact structure, accessibility, strength, fine granules and conchoidal or stone-like fracture, but it is not partially transparent like the porcelain body. The body of Yixing red stoneware has also these kinds of characteristics, but changes of small granules on the bright and smooth surface of the ware showcases a sandy effect.
Clay used to make red stoneware has a variety of colors, such as white clay, black clay, yellow clay, songhua clay (except for the main red clay) and zisha clay. Red stoneware is not glazed, instead, it makes full use of the color of clay, so that it presents gentle color after firing, appearing quaint and lovely. Matt effect on red stoneware can weaken the light reflection and also clearly demonstrate the form of ware as well as decoration and the vivid effect of its natural color.
Main varieties of red stoneware are all kinds of tea sets, wine sets, tableware, stationeries, flowerpots, carving crafts and decoration crafts. Teapots alone can be divided into four categories: naked teapots, square teapots, jinpiao teapots, and fancy teapots.
According to the morphological characteristics, folding can be divided into round ware, square ware, shaping ware, veined pots and others. Pot body is decorated with simple flowers patterns or words, or nothing carved on it.
Red stoneware is unique in Jiangsu region. Gu Jingzhou, Jiang Rong, Gu Shaopei, Bao Zhiqiang, Xie Hua, etc. are national masters making red stoneware pots.