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What Makes A Good Mizusashi Good?


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#1 Tyler Miller

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:39 PM

A piece of tea ceremony equipment I've admired for a long time is the mizusashi.  Some of the most striking and powerful pieces of ceramic I've ever seen have been the wild, untamed shapes of mizusashi.  The skill involved in matching a lid to such irregular shapes boggles the mind.  It seems the perfect vessel for some of the more wild and rustic flavours of Japanese ceramic.

 

But what I like is likely not what's considered its virtue as a utensil in the tea ceremony.  The same could likely be said of my taste in chawan, as an outsider to chanoyubut I'm curious, what are the virtues of a good mizuzashi?  Sometimes it seems like a vessel originally used for another purpose gets converted by fitting it with a black lacquer lid, sometimes they're purpose made.

 

Some examples:

 

http://upload.wikime...ters_491543.jpg

 

http://johndix.com/j...Mizusashi11.jpg

 

http://hotoke-antiqu...Mizusashi_1.jpg

 

 



#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:07 PM

http://www.shozo-mic...ashi/index.html

Sigh. Maybe in another lifetime.

#3 Babs

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:51 PM

I think the  sound of the clay lid scratching brought about the  lacquered lids. 



#4 Tyler Miller

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:44 PM

Very interesting, Babs.  That makes a lot of sense.  There seems to be a lot of small details like that to take into account in proper tea ceremony ware.



#5 Rakuken

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:35 AM

I love making a mizusashi. Here are a few. I also made and finished the wood covers.
Aloha, Ken

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#6 Tyler Miller

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:52 AM

Ken, those are absolutely stunning!  Did you use real urushi for the cover finish?

 

They have a look that makes me want to open them and look inside.



#7 Rakuken

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:22 AM

Ken, those are absolutely stunning!  Did you use real urushi for the cover finish?
 
They have a look that makes me want to open them and look inside.

It's not urushi, it's auto paint. I go thru the process of sealing, priming and spray painting the wood covers. I retired as an auto painter. There are a few more mizusashi pictures in my gallery.
Aloha, Ken

#8 JBaymore

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:21 AM

Tyler,

 

RakuKen is one of the good Chadogu makers out there.

 

Hay Ken-san.... maybe we can get Cory to come over here to the forms too????? 

 

best,

 

.........................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#9 JBaymore

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:25 AM

There seems to be a lot of small details like that to take into account in proper tea ceremony ware.

 

Yeah, there are.  Spending some serious time in a Tearoom helps a potter understand what those aspects are (see my Raku Chawan comments elsewhere).  Also talking to real Chajin (Tea People).

 

Nothiong beats having a Chajin pick up one of your Chawan and say something like "Very interesting bowl."  (That is a SLAM of a critique.)  What that polite comment really means is, "Someone who understands Chanoyu (tea ceremony) would never have made a bowl like that. Can't be used for X reason(s)."

 

They say if you want to make good sake botles...... you have to drink a lot of sake. ;)   Time to study up :lol: .

 

best,

 

.....................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#10 Tyler Miller

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:49 PM

John,

 

I'm on the hunt for a proper tea club in the area.  It's something I'm greatly interested in as the "teaist" sensibilities greatly appeal to me as I get older.  I certainly don't want to be making "interesting" tea bowls.  For now, some books will have to do.

 

Thank you for the proper introduction to RakuKen. :)

 

Ken,

 

I know a few saya makers who have referred to auto paint as "American urushi."  It's the only readily available finish, I think, that comes close to the proper finish of the real thing.  Your skill is humbling.

 

-Tyler



#11 Biglou13

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 12:23 AM

I have been studying and practicing, drinking tea from matcha to keemum... From matcha chawan, to yunomi to gaiwan etc etc.... Learning about woodfired

I've worn out my first chasen.

I've made maybe one or 2 passable matcha chawan, praticing making yunomi, lots of yunomi, small plates for sweets, an ocassional vase, futaoki, plate, and getting my feet wet wood firing

I am very familiar with raku kens, cory lum, and baymore san's work. And have got my hands on a few of John ballasteri's, and Don Reitz and , dick lehmans work. I was at a studio's back room and was drawn to some pieces, with great balance and movement, these were John ballesteris work.

I've been struggling with the design principle of the mizusashi. And attempting to make but always crashing. I've been thinking a lot about these and studying lately.

Today this was on mind. Amazing movement looseness and fluidity....... The piece just fascinates me!!

http://www.japanesep...8&cid=4&iid=379

Well today, think I finally got my head wrapped around the, mizusashi, if not then I'm finally making progress. May have made my first keeper. Well see if pottery gods shine on firings....

I think I finally starting to understand its function and design. It took studying ratio/ proportion, measurements, recalling the few I saw at museums, and recently watching a tea ceremony video, where mizusashi was brought into tearoom. Watching ceremony and use of mizusashi has given me insight as to a "good one". But like many things it's about feel and balance that can't be measured, copied, taught, learned....I suppose it's like zen like matters you can't force it it to happen....."it" just happens.

The one above has one visible wod mark on galley, and glaze deposits inside of pot, with minimal kiln influence on bottom of lid. Was lid fired on pot? Was lid bisqued on pot, if not once fired? For woodfired piece, how should lid be handled, from making to firing?
Caution big brother is watching.
The beige is blinding!!!!!!
The middle of the road is boring

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
-Albert Einstein

#12 Biglou13

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 04:06 PM

I've seen some japanese vases, does a lid make It a mizusashi
Caution big brother is watching.
The beige is blinding!!!!!!
The middle of the road is boring

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
-Albert Einstein

#13 JBaymore

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:20 PM

A couple of thoughts............

 

Make sure that the balance of the lid is such that when it is leaned on the side of the mizusashi in use it will CLEARLY remain in place easily without "fussing".  It shouldn't want to slip, fall over backwards toward the knob, or tend to roll away due to off center weight distribution.

 

Make sure the top opening will easily accomodate a "standard" chashaku (ladle) at the typical angle that it will hit the form when it is filled with the appropriate level of water.

 

Make sure it does not LEAK!  (Hagi type glazes on non vitrified bodies can be problematic.)

 

Depending on the type of Chakai........ it needs to be GRACEFULLY carried into the tearoom full of water and set down.......... watch total weight and the way the top might encourage of inhibit slohing and spilling.

 

best,

 

.................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#14 Rakuken

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 10:22 PM

A couple of thoughts............
 
Make sure that the balance of the lid is such that when it is leaned on the side of the mizusashi in use it will CLEARLY remain in place easily without "fussing".  It shouldn't want to slip, fall over backwards toward the knob, or tend to roll away due to off center weight distribution.
 
Make sure the top opening will easily accomodate a "standard" chashaku (ladle) at the typical angle that it will hit the form when it is filled with the appropriate level of water.
 
Make sure it does not LEAK!  (Hagi type glazes on non vitrified bodies can be problematic.)
 
Depending on the type of Chakai........ it needs to be GRACEFULLY carried into the tearoom full of water and set down.......... watch total weight and the way the top might encourage of inhibit slohing and spilling.
 
best,
 
.................john


Toshio Ohi San of Japan measured one of my mizusashi opening with his fist.

Aloha, Ken

#15 JBaymore

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:14 AM


 

Toshio Ohi San of Japan measured one of my mizusashi opening with his fist.

Aloha, Ken

 

 

 

I love how folks like that tend to 'cut to the chase' in such simple ways. ;)

 

best,

 

....................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#16 macdoodle

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:46 AM

havent been on forum for awhile - saw these beautiful shapes had to look into it. I would NOT use the traditional urushi as even dry, it could cause an allergic reaction.  http://en.wikipedia....on_vernicifluum



#17 JBaymore

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 10:03 AM

Once you know HOW to use it correctly...... it can be done. But it is VERY tough to handle. There has been a lot of discussion here in other threads on this subject.

 

best,

 

.......................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com




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