Saturday, August 16, 2008
I've been making teabowls lately. One-pound teabowls, really not much bigger than wine cups when they're fired. My friend Jo Ann Muramoto told me once that my teabowls were too big for women's hands, so I started making them smaller. Some of them, anyway.
I've always loved the simplicity of the teabowl and the intimacy of it. Like a mug, you use it by putting it to your lips. If I'm stuck for something to throw at the beginning of a day of work, I'll throw a few teabowls to warm up. And if I have a pound or so of soft trimmings on the table after throwing bigger things, I'll wedge up the pile and throw a teabowl to end the day's work.
People who buy cups like this from me often call them "handleless mugs." OK by me, if it works for them.
Years ago, when I was just starting to make pots, I found a lovely Warren McKenzie temmoku teabowl in the kitchen cabinet of my teacher, Dennis Davis. It was a tall cup, very much in the fashion of some by Hamada, with an indentation in the side where the thumb or forefinger naturally fit. I stole that indentation from McKenzie for many of my own teabowls. People who buy from me often mention the fit of the dimple on the pot and I always give Warren credit for it.
The pots in the photo above are some from our own kitchen cabinet. Left to right, the potters are Phil Rogers, myself, Joe Bennion, Willi Singleton, Jeff Oestreich.