Swanica explores Japan

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last week, I went again to Mashiko to pick up some of my Anagama wood fired "Chawans" tea bowls, glazed with Lee Love's glazes and fired in his Anagama.

Three pictures of the same chawan.

The foot.

The bowl is made by "tebineri", handpinching.
This chawan is "Shino" glazed.

Shino pottery, so pure and calm, has since its birth in the late 16th century tugged at the heartstrings of the Japanese. A Shino chawan (tea bowl) figured prominently in Yasunari Kawabata's masterpiece novel, "A Thousand Cranes." There is a divine presence in the best of Shino wares. When one gazes down into a Shino chawan filled with emerald matcha (green tea), it is an uplifting experience.
The name Shino is thought to have been taken from Shino Sohshin (1444-1523), a master in the art of incense. Another theory is that the name comes from a tea caddy in Shino's possession that was called "Bamboo Grass," which is also pronounced "shino."

A chawan thrown faceted with a special faceting tool made by Hank Murrow. Hank's WireTool comes with 5 interchangeable twisted wires, which gives that specific texturing on the outside of the bowl. You can contact Hank about it at
hmurrow@efn.org and tutorials can be seen at

The runny ash glaze collects on the bottom of the bowl like a little pool.

The runny drips on the outside stop short at the base of the foot.


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