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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tea Blog Carnival -- Favorite Piece of Teaware

The Association of Tea bloggers have decided to start doing a blog Carnival. I have seen such things done on Math blogs, and apparently they are somewhat well known in other blogging circles but to our knowledge the tea blogging community has never organized one. The Main post is found here.

So the topic for this series of posts is:

"What is your favorite piece of teaware and why?"

A rather unsatisfactory answer, but rather true is, the latest Teaware acquired. As it is newest thing in your collection you are enamored with it, and you find its quirks appealing rather than trouble some. So as of writing this first part on April 17th. My latest piece of teaware acquired is Zhu Ni Yixing tea pot, which has been featured in this post.

But lets face it, I have a site The Hagi Project in which I mainly catalog my Hagi Yaki collection. So I would be lying if I said that my "favorite child" is not a piece of Hagi yaki. I hate to say that around my Yixing, or Lins Kettle, but the way Hagi change and feel. The fact that they seem to be border line alive.

The Hardest question is: Which Hagi piece is my favorite?

This is hard, as I really like Tebineri (pinch work) pieces, and Oni-hagi pieces. Oni-hagi is extra coarse clay, often with large noticeable, pieces of sand.

Tebineri pieces feel amazing in hand, and due to the pinch work nature, they tend to be a bit more unique and different than typical hand made pottery pieces. I know all hand made ceramics are unique, but the fact that masters artists can make hundreds of pieces that look rather similar, when using a pottery wheel. It seems when pinch work is done the piece is more organic in nature. While the pieces will look similar, when examining them with your hand you get to know and feel the soul of the piece.

Seigan Ao Tebineri Closeup

I like Oni-hagi pieces for reasons that are much harder to explain. Sometimes Oni-hagi clay can cause interesting effects to occur in the glaze. That and the fact that it seems to make the piece more likely to leak/weep, makes the piece feel live.

ONI-HAGI SHIRO-YUU WAN

That being said, what is my favorite piece of Hagi-yaki? From what I said it seems a pinch work Oni-hagi piece would be ideal, but I do not know if I have ever seen one of those, it seems that combination is just not done.

So my favorite piece of teaware is my Noutomi Choun Hohin. Though sadly it is the hardest to actually capture its true essence in a photograph. But it feels absolutely amazing in hand, to match. This piece also looks rather alien in its appearance.

Choun Hohin

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