Many potters make tea bowls. Technically there are many qualities which a good tea bowl should have. It should feel comfortable in the hands, soft to the lips, when tea is whisked in it, the whisk should not be shredded. It should hold heat, it should be high walled in the winter and more open in the summer. These are just a few of the qualities which might be noticed by a tea practitioner.
For twenty years I have been a student of Omotesenke Tea (one of the main tea groups of Japan). I received my tea teaching license about 5 years ago. I have taken many, many pieces of tea ceramics which I have made over the years to my sensei’s house so we could critique them. “Ah, maybe a little too heavy.” “Hum, is the foot too stiff?” “Yes, such a good face (front of bowl).” “Will the teaspoon balance on the bowl as you walk?” There are considerations for each utensil. Most of the time questions deal directly with how the item is used. “Is the mouth of the mizusashi (cold water pot) large enough to use a ladle with?” “If there are flowers in this vase will they be higher than the bottom of the scroll behind them?” And on and on.
It has been my honor to have three pieces of my ceramics exhibited in Kyoto at the Omotesenke Domonkai exhibit of American Pottery used in Chanoyu (tea ceremony) a few years ago.
The study of tea has been a wonderful and very influential part of my life.
I hope that as you view this page you will be able to feel a bit of the quiet beauty of the tea. — Kate