Fine Tea Bowls created by a master potter

  • Fine Tea Bowls created by a master potter
  • JPY 5,500
In the sublime art of "Sado," or Japanese tea ceremony, the making, serving and appreciation of tea provide aesthetic, intellectual, and physical enjoyment and peace of mind to the guests. Central to this endeavor is, of course, appreciation of the tea – its flavor, its texture, its aroma. The tea bowl or "chawan" is a crucial element in the Way of Tea – drinking from a fine bowl enhances both the flavor of the tea and the experience of the ceremony. Indeed, one of the traditional joys of Sado lies in discussing and admiring the beauty of the host’s pottery.

Profile: Atsushi Yamakawa Born 1962 in Kyoto, Yamakawa studied pottery making under Katsuro Kitamura when he was 20, and started working as a professional potter soon after. Now 54, he has been honored with numerous awards over the years, and his creations are collected and appreciated all over the world. His love of Japanese tea ceremony, and his deep knowledge of its techniques, manners and aesthetic, informs both his creative drive and the characteristics of his unique chawan. The act of creating a fine bowl is itself deeply satisfying. "To create this beautiful thing, communicating face-to-face with the clay, can release your heart," he said. "As a craftsman, I derive great satisfaction from making beautiful things that people can use to make them happy."

Yamakawa-san created the tea bowl pictured here, especially to grace the tea room of Sumiya ryokan in Kyoto. It was commissioned by Marukyu Koyamaen, which has been a purveyor of fine tea in Kyoto since the 17th century.