Pinkney Pottery   It was a unique experience for the guests, since for most of them it was their first time to experience Chado, The Way of Tea a.k.a. the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The event was held on the opening day of the exhibition here in the Cotswolds at the Pinkney pottery. Since I am a potter creating tea bowls and other ceramics for use in the tea ceremony, we were surrounded by pots to use in the presentation of whisked matcha tea.

Pinkney PotteryThe exhibition opening day was blessed with bright weather and we were privileged to have the U.K. head of the Urasenke school of tea conducting the tea ceremony. We were able to present Tea in the most authentic manner with charcoal being used to heat the water in the kettle instead of an electric heater & the guests managed to sit on the tatami mat floor with the help of cushions. The otemae, tea presentation was exquisite and natural. Since the tea room was limited to eight guests at a time, we had five separate sittings to include all thirty guests.

All in all it was a delightful day and it was a joy to share the Way of Tea with friends and at the same time use tea bowls that I spent a year making. Special thanks to all the family, friends and visitors for their support.

The exhibition will be on until 31st August, so I hope that you will be able to visit Pinkney Pottery sometime & I will be happy to serve you  a fine bowl of whisked matcha tea!


Exhibition Review :    CREATING A TEA WORLD

From long ago in Japan it’s been said that Tea equals Zen and that Zen equals Tea; the two being so interconnected in spirit. And of course Tea in Japan is completely different from tea in the west, as you can see from the works of Lawrence Barrow, a.k.a. Jiko-san here in Kyoto.

Few foreigners come to ceramics from the path that Lawrence has walked. His intense Zen training for years in a remote Japanese Zen temple allowed him to deeply connect with the deep well of Zen and Tea, without making ceramic vessels at that point in time.

Most potters come from the opposite path, first studying ceramics and then Tea and then maybe Zen. As such for Lawrence there’s an intuitive and ‘bone felt’ relationship to Tea and it’s specific vessels that he learned about in silence. And that silent understanding has allowed him to make some very superb works that belie his relatively short time at the wheel.

hikidashi chawan

In fact, for Tea ceramics it’s not so much about technique―which is important―yet more about the spirit in a work that transcends technique. I’m quite amazed to see how Lawrence has created such works on display at the Pinkney Pottery, of which I saw most of them before being sent to the UK, in such a short time.


Lawrence made some important connections with master potters who fire an anagama, a special tunnel-kiln that uses only wood for fuel. The successful results of an anagama firing can dazzle the mind with brilliant natural ash-glazes, warm clay and fire tones, and other ‘happenings’ that creates unique one-of-a-kind works.

'Mother Earth' mizusashiHow about Lawrences’s mizusashi fresh water-jar as a perfect example!

 So, from Kyoto to the UK what a journey the pots before you have traveled; I hope you enjoy them as much as I did a few weeks ago when I saw.

serving tea

There’s much to be learnt from holding a LB chawan.


Robert Yellin is one of the world’s authorities on Japanese ceramics.  A resident of Japan for nearly 30 years, he has played a central role in the introduction of cutting-edge Japanese artists to the world as an author, lecturer and gallery owner.  His website,, serves as a primary source of information for thousands of ceramic enthusiasts, worldwide.

茶の湯の世界を創造する ー ロバート・イエリン著 茶道とその先にあるもの:日本から来た薪窯焼きの陶器を英国ピンクニーポッタリーにて

日本では古来から茶の湯は禅に通じ、禅は茶の湯に通じると言われて来ました。その二つは精神 性においても非常に関係性の深いものです。そして勿論ローレンス・バロー (京都での名を慈光さ ん) の作品を見ると、日本においてのお茶の概念は西洋におけるそれとは全く別ものであるかこと がわかるでしょう。

ローレンスが辿って来た陶芸への道は多くの外国人陶芸家が辿って来た道とは異なり、陶芸家に なる以前、彼が体験した何年にも渡る人里離れた禅寺での厳しい修行により、禅と茶の湯との深 い繋がりを持つことが出来たのです。

陶芸を学んだ後に禅を学ぶことは珍しくないのですが、ローレンスは禅を先に学んだことによ り、直感的なお茶とその為だけに作られた器への関係性を心で学んだのです。そのことにより、 決して長くはない彼の陶芸家人生の中でも秀逸な作品を作ることが出来るのです。

実際、茶器を作る上で技術は大切な要素ではあるのですが、なによりも作品の中に在る技術を超 えた魂の部分の方が重要なのです。私は今回のピンクニーポッタリーで展示されている彼の魂のこ もった作品群を見て大変驚きました。それらの多くはここ英国に届く前に既に見ていたものの、 この短期間で作られたとは思えないものばかりなのです。

ローレンスは穴窯という薪のみを使って陶器を焼く特殊な技法を持つ熟練した職人たちと大切な 繋がりを持っています。そしてその穴窯を使用することにより、天然の灰を使った釉薬、温もりの ある粘土、火入れの調子、そしてその他の予想外の出来事が重なったことで生まれた、心を圧倒 する世界に一つしかない独自の作品を作り上げることに成功したのです。


是非この機会に遥か海を越えて京都から英国まで旅をして来た作品群をお楽しみください。私が 数週間前に見た時の感動を皆さんにも同じように感じていただければ幸いです。



ロバート・イエリンは日本の陶芸に関する世界の権威者の一人である。30年近く日本に住み、執 筆、講義、ギャラリー運営などの活動により日本の洗練された作家たちを世界に紹介する任務の 中心的な役割を担って来た。彼のウェブサイト は世界中の陶芸熱狂者 の大切な情報源となっている。 

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