Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As a potter, there is little more satisfying than knowing your pots are being used. Coming from a mostly functional background of three Leach students, my work is about use and accomodation. As I sketch out and throw or build new pots, my foremost thought is about the function and that they perform without any real problems. That means handles, knobs, lids and feet all make for a pot that is meant to be used and its purpose is fulfilled when it is being enjoyed for a variety of tasks.

Going all the way back to the beginning, I have always been captivated by various tea utensils and as such have made chawan, mizusashi, full tea sets and various other components. Though I have exceedingly little experience with chanoyu, I have done what I could to understand the function of each piece and have added my own nuances. Over time, I have had a lot of feedback from tea people (chajin) as to how pieces have preformed with subtle suggestions and input as to how to make varying objects. There are a number of my pieces that are being or have been used for chanoyu and kaiseki by the Urasenke and Omotesenke schools of tea ceremony. Seeing my pots in this setting being used, is about the greatest feeling I can imagine as a potter.

Illustrated is a close-up of the chaki of Urasenke tradition practioner, Todd Frey of York, PA. The mizusashi and matching shakutate are by me and are porcelain neriage with my Ao glaze. They are part of a set that includes a chawan, mizusashi, kensui, shakutate and futaoki. Todd has a wonderful authentic “tea house” in York and gives chanoyu demonstrations. You can learn more about him at;

(Photo graciously provided by Todd Frey)

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