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.
“My mind and body must be in unity in order to mold the clay in balance.”
– Master Cheon Han Bong
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