Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Experience With an Erabo Style Tea Drinking Bowl by Sel Young Jin


This bowl is chosen off a wall of about a hundred, all magnificent pieces of art and a testament to the craftsmanship of Korean potters. One doesn't choose it, a friend does the honours. Then that same friend prepares powered green tea in it the same way she does many times daily.

She reaches across the grainy wood table and places it in front of one. Embracing it with cupped hands, this tea bowl's shape just feels right. It reclines in the palms of one's hands like a ball carved from wood, half a ball. The texture is softer than it looks, soft sand. The colour of the bowl bares the badge of large black markings, a result of the ash in the wood fired kiln.


Bringing it toward ones lips, one reverently drinks the tea.


The rings that encircle the outer body of the bowl are a real treat to both the eyes and hands. This bowl imitates the dendrochronology of an old tree. The lines that circumnavigate this bowl trigger deep reflection on life. Just as the rings of a tree allow us to reflect on its life, the rings around this bowl allow one to reflect upon the one who, now, holds it in their hands savoring the moment, savoring life.

Peace

5 comments:

ginkgo said...

waouh ! how was the taste and sensation of tea in this bowl ?

Matt said...

Ginkgo,

The tea was a perfectly prepared Yame Blue label. One had never tried this tea prepared so good. Its froth was thick yet still bubbly. It ran thick into the throat, thicker than most experiences with this tea. This could have been in part because of the rounding shape of the lip of this bowl. Either way, it too was part of the experience.

Peace

toki said...

amazing... Nature reflection in art. Beautiful craftsmanship, capturing time in one vessel.

ginkgo said...

the shape of the lip of the bowl is so important for the taste ! Thin with porcelain texture make the flavors delicate and push the flavor in a topic. Round put the ground flavors before ...and so on ! It is like playing with a music instrument...

Matt said...

Toki,

This vessel did seem to define as well as capture the moment.

Ginkgo,

Just as you mentioned, the lip of the bowl is instrumental in determining the taste of the tea that flows off of it.

Peace