The use of artificial colorants is a controversial topic amongst historical and contemporary zisha craftsmen, as well as tea drinkers and Yixing collectors. Artificial colorants are predominantly made from metal oxides and were first used in the RoC; at the time, artificial colorants were expensive in China and their use was limited by the low-availability of wet-ball-mills or other machinery to grind the oxides into powder fine enough for use. The early application of artificial colorants was thus limited to surface decorations on naturalistic teapots (such as bamboo leaves, water caltrops, and flowers).
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