Monday, December 27, 2010


A while back I was asked to make a mizusashi for a New Year’s Tea Ceremony. The tea practitioner that was commissioning the piece had several very specific parameters that I had to work within. Size, form, glazes were the strictest requirements, together with the fact that the piece was to have a formal attitude and needed to “go with” the rest of his tea pieces (chadogu).

I made a number of sketches of things I thought would work within his requirements, some based on older designs, some that were evolving newer ideas and some I had never worked with before. He chose a form based on works I am currently working with and with some modifications, he approved the idea. I moved on to the prototype next, seen in the photos. It is loosely based on my interpretation of a Kawai Kanjiro façade to one of his henko forms. The glazing on the prototype was to be simple to show the form off to its best. The galley was glazed as the mizusashi was to have a ceramic lid and a lacquer lid. I made this prototype with two different ceramic lids.

After the piece was fired, I showed it to the collector and he really liked the piece. I threw another, it was later glazed as he requested and fired in my last glaze fire. It came out exactly as he wanted and we narrowly got a lacquer lid back from Japan in time. It will be used for his first tea ceremony of 2011 and I was very happy to assist in the project and look forward to some pictures.

Illustrated is the prototype mizusashi with recessed lid and glazed in my medieval green and temmoku glazes. The chawan is a severely paddled haiyu glazed piece similar to the one he will be using. The second picture shows how recessed the lid is.

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