Monday, June 23, 2008

Sel Young Jin's Wild Edo Style

Edo refers to both the style and clay used for this tea bowl. Edo clay, found only in the southern kilns of South Korea, is distinguished by its distinct goldy yellowish-orange colour, the colour of a loquat fruit. The texture of this clay is typically more fine and smooth, than coarse and rough. A traditional edo style bowl is bound to use these characteristics in its final product. This bowl is not your traditional edo style bowl.

Grittier, granular, coarser clay that typifies Sel Young Jin's tea bowls is found in this piece. Thick white glaze coats this bowl. In places where it does not, stones, and sandy loquat clay peer out from the white gloss helplessly enveloping it.

This tea bowl's shape is an exaggerated extension of yang. The addition of bright green matcha helps to balance this bowls energy. The matcha re-energizes the edo clay and pulls it out from the suffocating grip of oozing white blobs.

The feel of this bowl on the lips and fingers is wonderful- smooth, thick gloss, with sporadic gaps of stark pleading roughness. When it is brought to ones lips the heavy weight of this hardy bowl is felt. Tea creeps down the thick walls of this bowl and into the mouth. It seems impossible to coax out the last bit of tea from the deep, low laying, flat shallow of the bowl.

The oversized foot (Kor: joop, Jap: kodai) acts to balance this burly bowl. Its unusually large size and one inch depth appropriately grounds this the bowl.

One dare not call you a sissy when drinking matcha from this colossal bowl!


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