Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Visiting a Potter Studio

One day, I took some tea bowl samples, some pictures and random designs that I drew, and visited an expert potter.   Now, I’m trying to have two types of original tea bowl made for my shop.  One will be a black tea bowl with apparent volume and another one will be light for its size with a bright glaze. 

You might think that a tea bowl is just a simple vessel but to create a tea bowl, you have to consider many aspects and details for its functionality and pleasing appearance.  The details will include clay, glaze, weight, dimensions, figures, and so on (depending on one’s tastes).  What I most consider is the entire atmosphere consisting of all these delicate aspects.

Checking the size before baking

After several meetings, the potter finally showed me the first sample of black tea bowl.  It is shaped by a turning wheel and is handsomely carved outside.  Engraved edges give the bowl a varied and expressive look.  I actually used the bowl yesterday and I liked it.  The black tea bowl beautifully steals attention in the tea room and perfectly matched a dark-wine-red tea container.  It was great moving tea whisk in it.  The craggy surface creates an interesting touch.  The skilled potter already made the first piece in perfect shape that meets all of my desires kind of tea bowl. 

The sample piece satisfies my taste, but I think something is missing here.  It’s the atmosphere.  It is very minor difference.  I wanted it to be massive, but the sample piece is very composed.   Now I realized that it was because I was concerned too much about the weight, and asked him not to make it too heavy.  So, he thinned the wall and reshaped the tea bowl.  Even though it appeared heavy, I would want it more wild and livery.  I can’t wait for the next piece. 


  1. Is it the unglazed bowl? For sencha or matcha? Interesting so far.

    1. It is a tea bowl for matcha. The one in the picture is not glazed yet. After that, black glaze was applied and it was baked. It looks excellent with the beautiful black dress.