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Saturday, November 3, 2007


Anyone who hasn't might want to zip over to Tony Clennell's site:
Tony is over in China and has some awesome photos of home-grown Chinese pottery, techniques, and living conditions. It's well worth the mouse click.

Have been studying the Japanese concept of tea bowls and cups. Yunomi is their generic word for teacup. Translation: [for] drinking hot water. Bisque-fired 3 of these yesterday.

In Japan, there is more to tea and cups and teapots than meets the ear.

For instance, if you are holding a Chawan, you'd best be attired in your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. It is a formal occasion. Chawans are usually sold in sets of five and a set is priced around 25,000 yen.

But if you're holding a Yunomi, you're sitting around the kitchen table and any old kimono will do!

If you are holding a Guinomi, you are more than likely drinking sake, and if you polish off several of these in one gulp (which the name implies), well, by then, who the heck cares what they are wearing?

And if you're holding a Meiwan? You are an intellectual or an artist participating in a tea-drinking ritual which rivals a standoff with chanoyu. You are on your own here; i haven't a clue what to wear to this occasion.

Another item worth noting about Yunomi is that some styles are worth more than others based on glazes (of course! Y'all know about my glazing abilities!). A white Shino, thickly applied evidently insulates the cup and doesn't burn your hand as you try to drink from the handleless cup.

Ah sure now, an it's suppertime. Guess i'll go have a cuppa tea . . . .



Cynthia said...

How interesting - I had no idea about the variety of tea drinking occasions.

Lee Love said...

You examples in the photo are more like banchawan.

Good article on the different cups and bowls at the bottom of this article. He is only confused about banchawan: