Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I haven't blogged in a long time, I have been getting a ton ready for my next firing at the end of the month. I have made an extra effort to create more and accurate tea ware.  What I mean by accurate, is making teapots for instance, just the right size. I was making "nice sized ones" but I was not aware of the specific sizes desired by tea drinking connoisseurs. I now know that they like 3-4 oz tea pots for making 2 oz of high quality tea (gyokuro) and these small ones are called kyusu or a houhin. Then they get big for sencha, like a  9 oz tea pot is nice. This will make two smaller pours or one bigger one. 

A completed small one on the right and a 9 oz one "scored and slipped" on the left ready to join. Parts in the background to choose from. A little more practice with composition in this scale and I'll know what size to make them. I made a total of five tea pots for starters.  I want to see if they shrink to the right size.

This is a close-up of the prep work. Don't make the holes too big or they won't strain well and not too small or it will pour slow and continue to steep the tea (too long).

Then you press them together with wiggles to make the slip ooze out. Then you know it won't crack under firing stresses. Clean it up with a bristle brush and voila!

A completed small kyusu. It will hold about 5 oz when done.

The tea bowls are good to have half again to twice the size of the serving. A 6-8 oz capacity tea bowl holds 4 oz of tea nicely and so on.  I have gotten most of this tutorial from a good customer of mine named Brian that lives in Colorado.  Thanks Brian!  He doesn't know it (until now anyway) that he will have a little thank you in his next order. Here are a few I threw "off the hump".

This pic has a shui fan for a custom order and some tea caddies.

Shui Fan opened up.

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