Saturday, August 21, 2010

Learning, in many ways. A Jason Fasi (BearsBearsBears) piece

From Other Ceramics

I know the artist of this piece through Teachat an online forum, in essence I know him as a Puerh drinker first, and ceramic artist second. Especially since Ceramic arts is something that is not his primary job.

That being said this piece described a little bit as a California Hagi, though I forget its actual glaze name. It is the most esoteric piece I have in my collection. Esoteric in the sense that it is "glazed" but glaze covers very little of this piece, and in essence the glazing especially on the outside seems to be applied with the same design as that of random brush strokes for accent on other Ceramics pieces I have seen online.

Though I learned from this piece, as while it is nice to look at, and nice to hold, the inside is quite rough, and it feels far to rough against the lips for me to like to drink from it often. It is odd, I have no problem with lumpy, such as Hagi is quite often lumpy against the lips, but the fact that my lips are basically being pressed against unglazed rough sandy clay, it bothers me slightly, not to mention how hard it is to clean after having matcha in it.

But I will say the form of this piece is quite refined, and rather perfect.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A piece that makes me go Hmmm

Seigan Sansai Square Foot Guinomi

I am sure every collector of something has one item they are not entirely sure is genuine, or that is so unique they have never really seen anything like it. Well this piece is both at once.

The box it came in does not concern me at all, as it all looks rather legitimate, what concerns me is seen in the picture. Somehow the center of the foot of this piece is glazed, the place where the artists stamp occurs. So while I can see a place where I think the stamp is, there is no way to really make out the artists stamp on the piece itself.

While the clay looks like something Seigan can easily have done, and the glaze is the Sansai glaze, one of the glazes he is known for. I have recently found out that you can go into certain ceramics stores in Japan and buy premixed glazes that are basically identical to famous glazes. Though a bit of reassurance is inside Japan, Seigan is honestly not famous enough to draw much of this sort of forgery.

So while I am always open to the fact that this piece may not actually be his, I am pretty sure it probably is, but that brings up the fact that this piece is so incredibly unique in other regards.

Notice the square foot. I have never seen Seigan or any other Hagi artist produce a square foot like that.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hagi Teacups of various styles.

Looking at all my Hagi teacups that are actually able to be used for tea with ease. Two of these are Special offer so I can not say how readily similar styles are available outside Teachat Special offers, I will comment on where I have seen similar styles/ if I have seen similar styles.

From Hagi yaki
This is a classic style Yunomi by Mukuhara Kashun, and these are available in a vareity of sizes. I have seen some that are absolutely huge, and some that are about half the size of this. I think this qualifies as a medium sized Yunomi and it holds probably about 8 oz to the rim and a little more than 6 comfortably.

This was a Special offer at Teachat, and I honestly have not seen many teacups quite like this, it holds about 3 or 4 ounces making them a small teacup, but its so wide on top and is such an open bowl that it lets tea and water cool quite quickly. There are several slightly smaller Guinomi's (sake cups) in a similar style but they usually have steeper sides. But in terms of tea cups, quite a few non Hagi artists most notably American Artists have cups somewhat similar, though not as wide of a bowl.

This is billed as a wan, and these can come in several different variations, but these are rather standard and are a good all season cup. But at this point I feel I have acquired too many basic style wans. And while each is unique they are usually a bit on the plain side.

From Hagi yaki

These Tebineri (Pinch Work) Wans are almost hybrids between Classic Yunomi's and wans as all of them I have seen are a bit taller than wans but nearly as wide. I have seen a few of pinch work cups somewhat similar than these on by one of the Choun's who are known for pinch work pieces.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pristine or used?

Sen No Rikyu is quoted as saying "The value of a piece of teaware depends on its ability to make good tea." That being said, I feel there is a large emphasis in Western cultures put on having pristine looking ceramics among many other things. While of course I want to eat from clean plates and drink from clean glasses, I am comforted when something shows its use.

From Seven Stages of Hagi

Hagi yaki, and Korean ceramics are quite well known for the effect pictured above. When I see something like that, I personally feel "this cup has experienced tea as I have experienced it, and has stories to tell." I almost feel like the cup is an allegory for experience, this cup remembers a little bit each sip taken from it, it shows its been through quite a bit.

In contrast to pristine teaware, such as constantly washed and scrubbed porcelain. While they to might have stories to tell, I feel like when they get thoroughly cleaned, it is almost as if their memories are being completely wiped clean.

Granted a clean piece of ceramic can still look great, and show the care the creator put into its creation.

From Hagi yaki

But after extensive use, it develops in my mind so much more character.

From Seven Stages of Hagi

Again this is all personal preference, but I love my heavily used looking pieces.