Textured Porous Clay: Aesthetics & Transformations in Japan

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Victoria
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Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:36 pm

Sharing a mayake yohen Shigiraki kyusu I've had for a while and am still working on identifying. Originally, I thought it was a Yamada family piece, made by a younger craftsman, but the writing on the tomobako (wooden box) doesn't look like Yamada kiln. Also, the quirks this kyusu has may have been intentional, referencing the wabi sabi irregular imperfect nature of existence.

The first time I placed water in this kyusu, I noticed if water was added up to the rim it would begin pouring out of the spout before reaching the top. This was happening because the spout attachment to the body was slightly lower than on most kyusu, plus the top of the spout was lower than the rim. Next, I laughed at the inclined and tilled body, like the leaning tower of Pisa. Yet the end of spout design, with a projecting lower lip shelf, is very carefully and precisely crafted, and is a perfect no-drip design. Today, I finally decided to try it out with BaoZhong thinking it would pair nicely with an aromatic lower oxidized oolong, because the polished mayake ash glaze both inside and outside would pretty much seal the clay from absorbing body and aromatics. It pairs perfectly with BaoZhong, and won't spew water before it should, as long as I fill to just 3/8" below the rim. I now look forward to using it more often and enjoying its quirky somewhat whimsical sculptural personality.

Kaolin, and other quartz mineral chips can be seen in the clay giving it a nice texture. The mayake ash glaze is both inside and outside, with the exception of a few areas. All photos are horizontal, so any tilting is the actual three dimensional inclined form of the kyusu.

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Bok
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Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:00 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:36 pm
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This is lovely teapot! Very nice. Is it as small as it looks? That and the looks of the box make me think it might be quite old.
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Victoria
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Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:41 pm

@Bok thanks. It is 170ml. The clay is similar to a Yamada Sou I have. I’d like to get a macro lense, to really get up close and explore. Curious, what are you using to steep BaoZhong and roasted DongDing in?
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Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:48 pm

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:41 pm
Bok thanks. It is 170ml. The clay is similar to a Yamada Sou I have. I’d like to get a macro lense, to really get up close and explore. Curious, what are you using to steep BaoZhong and roasted DongDing in?
For Baozhong I like to use Zhuni to keep all the delicate flavours in. Duanni or Kobiwako I sometimes use as well, if I want to emphasise the body.

For roasted Dongding, my current favourite clay has become and old Zini Biandeng in 50ml. That is quite small even for me, but my current Dongding rotations have become so expensive that the small volume is an excellent economic choice... :mrgreen:
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Victoria
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:24 am

Bok wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:48 pm
Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:41 pm
Bok thanks. It is 170ml. The clay is similar to a Yamada Sou I have. I’d like to get a macro lense, to really get up close and explore. Curious, what are you using to steep BaoZhong and roasted DongDing in?
For Baozhong I like to use Zhuni to keep all the delicate flavours in. Duanni or Kobiwako I sometimes use as well, if I want to emphasise the body.

For roasted Dongding, my current favourite clay has become and old Zini Biandeng in 50ml. That is quite small even for me, but my current Dongding rotations have become so expensive that the small volume is an excellent economic choice... :mrgreen:
Expensive DongDing, isn’t that a misnomer... :) . I’m sure your budget is going towards your excellent teaware. Zini I have not yet tried with roasted DD, only with yancha and roasted TGY. Maybe I should branch out.
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:33 am

Victoria wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:24 am
Expensive DongDing, isn’t that a misnomer... :) . I’m sure your budget is going towards your excellent teaware.
Believe it or not, one of my Dongdings is actually more expensive per 600g than an antique teapot... But luckily that is the exception and I can allocate a lot less budget to tea than teaware without compromising the quality.
Victoria wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:24 am
Zini I have not yet tried with roasted DD, only with yancha and roasted TGY. Maybe I should branch out.
Mind you, I did not have good experience with factory Zini, which in the past has been disappointing. For Yancha I would tend to use Hongni or Zhuni, too exquisite to risk losing anything.
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:24 am

Victoria, Thank you for another beautifully written post. Reading it before seeing any of the photographs, I could appreciate how accurate your description of the teapot is. Well-done!

The photographs make the tilting seem far from extreme to me, making the pot fun & somewhat whimsical while still being quite functional. Not being able to fill the pot to the brim allows you to test whether that space for air effects the brew. (For a couple of months I thought space for air in a pot was beneficial. Now space to let the tea breath as it steeps, does not concern me.)
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pedant
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Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:12 am

Victoria wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:36 pm
Sharing a mayake yohen Shigiraki kyusu I've had for a while
...
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beautiful pot and post, Victoria. thank you
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Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:12 pm

Two unmarked bizen-yaki teacups.
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