Chawan (tea bowls) are very near to
the heart of my work. In a conversation
with my friend, the painter Adam
Wolpert, we discussed the meaning of
tea bowls as a symbol, since he has
been working on a series of paintings
that employ a “portrait” of one of my
tea bowls as a recurring image. I
managed to summarize my continuing
fascination with the form in one
sentence. The tea bowl is at the heart
of the Tea Ceremony; the ceremony
which invites us to wake to the world.
About Tea Bowl Aesthetics:   
A five century dialogue.
The Tea Bowl
"The Japanese fascination with tea bowls has always been a
puzzling one to many western ceramic enthusiasts, yet a close
look at
both old and new pieces reveals that there is much to be said for
these deceptively simple pieces. In Japan, the tea bowl has
become a sort of artistic Holy Grail. Over time, the tea bowl’s
central position in the tea ceremony has made it the nexus of
functional, aesthetic, and spiritual demands, prized older works
are breathtaking examples of the finest though it must be pointed
out that many inferior bowls are treasured for their lineage (that is
their ‘Tea History’), a fact which clouds the issue in Western
“‘If you can make a good tea bowl, you can make anything’ is
almost an adage in the Japanese ceramic world and there is
more than a grain of truth in it. To bring together the lip, the inner
surface, the outer and fire to produce the elusive balance of
utility and grace is not a feat to be taken lightly. To bring them
together with a touch of spirituality is magic.”
“The successful bowl will have an inexplicable serenity to its
stance as if it knows what it is about.”
- Barry Lancet, Executive Editor (Art), Kodansha International
from his essay Shiro Tsujimura
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