Thursday, March 27, 2014
Prevent a Crack on Your Tea Whisk
Crack on my chasen tea whisk
I got a crack on the handle of my chasen or tea whisk. For tea ceremonies, chasen is basically considered as a consumable item, so it’s probably not good to use a cracked whisk. However, it is impractical to have a brand new one at every occasion for personal use or at tea schools. So, I’m still using the broken chasen at home and I kind of find the crack even charming.
Can’t think of what has caused the crack
I have heard that it cracks in a dry environment. I sometimes use my chasen every day and sometimes don’t use it for weeks. I thought that it cracked when it got too dry during the period that I didn’t use it. But then, I have a question. Why my unused chasens in the storage don’t get cracks and why only the one I currently use got the crack? I can’t think of a good explanation on that.
I asked a chasen craftsman
On Facebook, I was asked for an advice on how to prevent cracks of chasen. So, I called a chasen craftsman asked his opinion. According to him, good-quality bamboo can crack easily because it has fine and high-density fiber and it is hard and strong. He says that temperature difference is often the cause of cracks. In Japan, you often get the cracks between March and May and also in the season when you use the heater. He said that you can hear the whisks cracking at the department store in a winter season at night. It is because it is warm at daytime but at night, the air conditioners are turned off and it gets very cold.
Ideal storage for chasen
It seems good to keep your chasen in a place with low-temperature difference and without an air conditioner. The chasen craftsman recommends a cool and dark place for storing them. My storage of chasen stocks is exactly like that. It now totally make sense why my stocks don’t get cracks. Chasen is made of natural material. So, it gets moldy if it’s not dry enough and it has a risk of cracks if it’s too dry.
< Points for treating chasen >
1. After use, rinse it with water and air-dry well (Avoid putting directly under the sunlight).
2. Then, store it in a cool and dark place (Don’t store it in the refrigerator).
The tips are no surprise and very basic. However, I was not able to achieve these simple things. I’ve kept my chasen in the kitchen where I use an air conditioner. Drying could be one of the reasons but I learned that temperature difference is one of the biggest causes. We hope you find it informative.