Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chawan bowls & pendants

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I'm currently fascinated with Chawan tea bowls. I love the pure wabi-sabi associated with these forms. They have a quality that evokes the inherent beauty, order and design of nature and the cosmos. I have come to ceramics through the back door so to speak because I have been a sculptor first and foremost. What I love about these bowls is the same thing I love about finding a really beautiful rock or piece of drift wood...they just have flow...they make you want to hold them...turning them over and absorbing every facet in an unconscious way. I have felt like I'm cheating a little bit because of just how fun these are to make. I use various tools to shape the raw pieces of clay. I create texture with the tools I use and by pressing in natural materials that will burn away during the firing process. After I shape the raw bowls; I then hollow them out with a loop tool. I have also been creating Chawan bowls using the pinch-pot method to create the forms. A pleasant surprise was that as I worked and developed a more efficient method for hollowing the tea bowls I began saving the spirals of clay I was removing. I set these pieces aside to dry and I plan to make glazed pendants on hemp twine to sell at the next open studio event I have. My plan is to fire all of the vessels either in an Anagama kiln or some other wood kiln in the spring when the weather is more favorable.

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