Today was my first attempt at hikidashi guro chawans which translates as “pulled-out black tea bowls”.

opening the kiln for hikidashi

opening the kiln for hikidashi

The technique is to cool the black glaze quickly by pulling the chawans out of the kiln with tongs at a high temperature of around 1200 celcius. Then the chawans are put into a reducing chamber, with combustible material such as rice husks. This creates a deeper black caused by the smoke from the burning material sinking into the glaze.

Black chawans are highly regarded in the world of wabi tea. Probably as they seem to bring out the fresh green colour of whisked matcha tea against a black background.

pulled out red

pulled out red

Today two friends were able to lend me a hand and I am thankful to them both, Kiyomizu-san who has a studio over the hill in Yamashina & Jeff Nimeh, a potter from New York who is also living in Kyoto.

Just in the space of ten minutes I pulled out nine chawans glowing red-hot from the kiln. The cooled chawans seemed to shine with a silvery sheen which I guessed was due to the reduction of glazes during the quick cooling.

Previously I admired hikidashi-guro chawans that were jet-black & matt, these were different. However I was satisfied with the results and the whisked green tea tasted delicious.

pulled out black chawans

pulled out black chawans

late spring –

in a black chawan

the matcha swirls

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