Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Autumnal Chawan

It's early November, the leaves have turned to amazing tints and shades of red, yellow, orange and gold and the winds of autumn are beginning to chill the air.   I’ve been thinking about how this time of year seems to compel us to merge hot tea with bowl and about the fire and energy that creates that merging moment.  Every time of year is the perfect time for tea but the cool breezes, colors and haze of autumn, in my part of the world, seem to make the merging of tea and teabowl even more necessary. 
To illustrate this, I’m turning once again to a bowl by the renowned teabowl artist Min Young Ki.  He created a magnificent bowl that warms me just thinking about it. 

This bowl was born of fire and seems to keep the warmth of that flame within its soul.

The kiln that produced it seems almost haphazard.  Made of stone, clay and brick, the dome is cracked, yet there is nothing haphazard about the work that emerges.   Still, like most Korean teabowl artists, thousands are made, few chosen for the honor of serving tea.

Among all the teabowls that were selected, this teabowl is the epitome of autumn.  Let’s look at it again.

The bowl exudes warmth, not scorching HEAT, “warmth” with all the ramifications of that word.  You can almost feel how this bowl fits your hands and radiates that warmth into your bones. 

The natural feldspathic glaze creates a haze across the bowl.  We can almost see leaves drifting in the distance. 

Like autumn the weather changes.  Some days are warmer than others. . .

. . . and slowly the cool breezes of winter begin to appear. 

Like earth the foot is dark and strong holding above it all of autumn in a magnificent bowl.  
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