Semper Ad Meliora – Always towards better things. This has been my modus operandi for my entire life.
Lately, and I’m not embarrassed to say, that I’ve been going through one of the hardest times of my life. And it has also been one of the best. The two live hand in hand. I need to let go of the notion that life or situations should be some other way than the way that they are. What is, IS! Accepting that tricky little nugget has caused an upward wave and I have been riding it for a few days and using that momentum to get me out of the hole that I’ve been in.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
– Kahil Gibran – The Prophet
Having pottery and being able to explore, problem solve, and create something from the base elements of the earth has really been an important part of recovering. Its symbolic. The more symbolism something has (that I can understand and that resonates with me) the more meaningful it becomes. It’s all very meaningful to me today.
I said this a few months back and it still rings true and can be said again –
“I’m just speechless. The amazing people that come into my life, at just the right times, helping me to go in the directions that I seek. It’s not even possible to repay the generosity of friendship, knowledge, time and guidance. It compels me to be the best that I can be in everything that I do. Everything that I am, so that I can become a vessel of their kindness and share it with everyone I meet. I become what I create: a bowl.”
Have a great one!
An important process for brewing green tea is cooling the water to the correct temperature. I was recently asked to create a samashi / chahai or cooling bowl.
In Korean this is called an ulshikim sabal
This is a beautiful example, minimal and elegant and completely functional. I have some ideas and cant wait to get started. I think it is going to be pointless to create one vessel alone when they are to be used together in the process. I have a lot of work to do 🙂
Here is a fantastic video on brewing green tea using the Hohin and the Samashi. It is important to use the same material for both vessels.
I also found a very interesting article about oxidation firing versus reduction firing affecting the taste of the tea.
Special thanks to SunJu Park and Lee Love
Maksabal – A Korean term for “A bowl for everything”.
There is such a rich history of ceramics in Korea. Japan gets the limelight for the Chawan and making the Chanoyu (Tea Ceremony – Way of Tea) famous but the vessels came from Korea first. Its like I’m taking a trip back in time as I further research my interests in ceramics and Martial Arts. There are many types of Sabal (bowl) but It especially resonates with me the unpretentious and natural beauty that these bowls embody.
I found a fantastic short documentary on the history of the Maksabal and an abbreviated history of how they came about. It includes how they are made and what makes them special enough for a war, The Hideyoshi Invasion (1592-1598) to erupt, sometimes called “the pottery wars” that involved this type of simple and utilitarian bowl.
One of these bowls is now designated a Japanese National Treasure – The Ido Chawan
Lee Love has become my go-to guy for his depth of knowledge on the Japanese and Korean concepts that come along with a really in depth study of the “why” of ceramics and the tea bowl in particular. He has kindly steered me in the directions I wish to study. The deeper I go the better it gets!
I truly hope to get to the Hadong region during our Korea trip later this year where the tea is grown. Enjoy the video!
Here is more commentary on the same video (also better quality)
And further commentary on the history Korean Ceramics