search  current discussion  categories  forms - misc 

was teabowls/work ethic of masters now: tea bowls cost

updated thu 2 oct 03


Richard J Mahaffey on tue 30 sep 03

Hello all,

Maybe the best explanation of why good tea bowls cost so much was a
quote by Peter Voulkos. He said with great emotion that for him,
"Holding a good tea bowl was like holding a universe in your hand".

I was stunned that he could explain it in so few words. I find that
precise "machine like" pots are easily seen and that one part is like
another, whereas a really good tea bowl can be seen as new just by
turning it. Also much is determined by the way it fits and sits in
your hand. As Lee said the tactile quality is very important and you
really must use them to really experience it.
As for those "bubbly, frothy" glazes I for one, find that there is a
depth in them that is lacking in our glazes that are made with
materials ground to "death" for use in the sanitary porcelain industry.

Remember the Chawan (tea bowls) are a product of another culture, a
very complex and old culture that has a different way of thinking about
many things from our own. That being said, I may miss a lot about the
bowls even though I have been looking at and studying them for over 30

That is just my opinion, YMMV.

Rick Mahaffey