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July 14, 2012 | Concord, MA | Japanese Tea Ceramics Workshop

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Japanese Tea Ceramics Workshop



Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts is proud to present a full day workshop with renowned Japanese tea ceramics artist Richard Milgrim on Saturday, July 14, 2012, from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Milgrim will demonstrate some of the primary forms used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony such as the tea bowl (chawan), water container (mizusashi), flower vase (hanaire), and tea caddy (chaire). Following the demonstrations, Milgrim will screen a documentary filmed one year ago in Japan entitled Forbidden Kyoto: An Encounter with Green Tea, which will then be followed with a tea ceremony demonstration by Richard's wife Mari, one of the highest ranking tea teachers of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea. Participants will have the opportunity to taste her handmade traditional tea sweets as well as enjoy the powdered green tea known as "matcha.†If time allows, the tea will be followed by an open discussion.




Richard Milgrim has been accepted as an independent ceramic artist creating chotou (tea ceramics) in Japan for over 25 years and is the first Western potter whose works have been fully endorsed by Dr. Sen Genshitsu, the 15th Grand Master of the Urasenke Tradition of Tea.


Milgrim first visited Japan for a year in 1977 as a student researching Japanese ceramics. He began studying "Chado" (The Way of Tea) and ceramics there on his second trip in 1979 while on a Watson Fellowship. After spending five years apprenticing with master potters in the diverse traditional ceramic centers of Kyoto, Hagi, Bizen, and Mino, Milgrim established his own studio-kiln in 1984-85 in the hills northwest of Kyoto. The workshop received the distinctive honor of being named “Richado-Gama†by Dr. Sen Genshitsu, also known as Hounsai Daisosho, who continues to endorse Migrim’s works today.


Richard has presented over 50 solo exhibitions of his work throughout Japan and the United States, and has been selected 10 times in total for the Japan Bi-Annual National Ceramic Exhibition and the Tanko Biennale (Tea Arts for the 21st Century). Since 2000 he has divided his time between his homes in Kyoto, Japan and Concord, Massachusetts, where he established his U.S. studio, also named by Dr. Sen in 2004 (Konko-Gama) in the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts. Milgrim continues to create unique tea ceramics in both countries using traditional as well as contemporary techniques and materials while building bridges between the United States and Japan. During the past year he has held major exhibitions in Boston (Pucker Gallery), Chicago (Douglas Dawson Gallery) and most recently a major exhibition at the Portland (OR.) Japanese Garden.




The documentary, Forbidden Kyoto: An Encounter with Green Tea, was filmed in & around Kyoto, Japan, the center of Japanese culture and history, for worldwide distribution by the Japanese National Broadcasting Corporation in 2011. It features Emerson Umbrella artist Richard Milgrim, long-time ex-pat who for the last 12 years has split his time between the U.S. and Japan.


The program explores many of the innermost aspects of the “Way of Tea†and gives a previously unseen look at the cultivation and blending of the special powdered green tea known as “matchaâ€. We get an up-close look at an 800-year old ritual tea offering performed by Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th generation Grand Master of the Urasenke Tea Tradition. We are also given the rare privilege of a visit to Dr. Sen’s personal home, a 400-year old tea complex registered as an Important Cultural Property and one of the most sacred inner sanctums of the tea world along with a visit to Juko-in, a 450-year old temple in Daitoku-ji, where Sen-no-Rikyu, the father of the modern day “Way of Tea†is laid to rest. All these sites are normally closed to the general public.


The film follows Richard as he seeks new inspiration in his efforts to create unique works of ceramic art for use in the tea ceremony at his kiln outside Kyoto. It illumines the process of making and firing new pieces using some unusual materials, thus bringing the process to a full circle while adding a new page to an ancient tradition.


Cost: $75 for a full day which includes ceramics demo, tea ceremony, movie, and discussion. Other options include ½ day morning ceramics demo only for $50, or ½ day afternoon tea ceremony, movie, and discussion for only $50. Lunch is not included.




For more information about the Japanese Tea Ceramics workshop or to register, please contact Jason Springer at 978-371-0820 or visit http://www.emersonumbrella.org.

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