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.