TEA CEREMONY & Beyond:
Wood-Fired Pots from Japan
by LAWRENCE 慈光 BARROW
AUGUST 9-31, 2014
Pinkney Pottery, Nr. Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 ONZ
Open by appointment: 01666840957
email: ljikob (at) gmail.com
TEA CEREMONY and Beyond:
Wood-Fired Pots from Japan
September 16-19, 2014
12 St. Mary’s Abbots Place
London W8 6LS
Exhibition of 茶道 Chado, the Way of Tea & 茶陶 Chato, Tea ceramics at 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.
The exhibition opening day was blessed with bright weather and we were privileged to have the U.K. head of the Urasenke school of tea, Kimura Sensei and his wife Miho-san 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. Kimura sensei’s 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 Kimura sensei and his wife for giving their time to make the opening a successful event & also many 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.
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.
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.
There’s much to be learnt from holding a LB chawan.
by ROBERT YELLIN
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, http://www.e-yakimono.net, serves as a primary source of information for thousands of ceramic enthusiasts, worldwide.