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tea bowls, phil, mel, artimator (semi long)

updated thu 15 feb 01


Richard Mahaffey on tue 13 feb 01

Phil, Mel, Artimator, Et al.

Tea bowls have many shapes and not all are rounded. The Tenmoku shape,
it is a shape as well as a glaze when one is talking tea bowls, it not
rounded in a cut away but rather pointed at the bottom and vee shaped in
the cutaway. In the National Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo, there is an
Oribe bowl in a shape that is labeled "Tea Bowl in the shape of a
Shoe", that's right a shoe! That is one difficult shape for me to make
poorly, let alone well.

The first Tea Bowls or Chawan were common everyday bowls chosen by the
Eye and mind of Sen No Rikyu when the Tea Ceremony was just starting in
Japan. What Mel did not say was that Chawan is also the name of the
rice bowl in a Japanese meal. That is what my wife calls it. She
learned that in Tokyo where she was born.

Artimator, The early cups made by Europeans were bowls with saucers for
drinking Tea and Coffee. Maybe that is where it comes from. Just
another case of the Europeans putting their names on stuff from other
cultures. Your .125 Native American should make you aware of that, mine

I agree with Fred Olsen of Kiln Book fame who was Tomimoto Kenkichi's
last personal apprentice who said to me when I asked him about making
Tea Bowls (Chawan to mel) " I don't know enough to make Tea Bowls, I
make Scotch Cups" laughing. He said that "most Japanese buyers seem
happy with that much to their wives dismay", more laughter and a twinkle
in his eye.

Sorry about the rant, I just had to put my two cents worth in before I
left for my workshop in the Denver area.

Rick Mahaffey
Tacoma Community College
Tacoma, WA, USA