Monday, September 24, 2007

Shimizu Genji-san, Part 3

Last week I received two new items from Tokoname, Japan via Artistic Nippon that were hand crafted by my favorite tea guy, Shimizu Genji-san (Hokujo), and I think they are perfect.

Mogake Yokode Kyusu

I knew that I wanted a side-handled kyusu by Genji-san, and I have been saving up for one for a while, humming and hawing over which one I should purchase. At the last minute I picked this one, and I'm glad I did.

This teapot uses a "mogake" design, where seaweed is attached to the pot using string, thus allowing the salt to oxidize the clay during firing. This creates a unique and elemental pattern.

The spout is well made, and the lid is a remarkably precise fit, so there is absolutely no leaking or dripping.

Notice that the handle and spout are not a perfect right angle. I can't remember where I read it, but supposedly that is a sign of a well designed kyusu.

Another fantastic sasame.

Three-Footed Yuzamashi

I saw this one on a Japanese website that only sold wholesale, and I had been looking for it since. When I ordered the kyusu, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask Yoshikawa-san if this was an item that he could procure for me. To my very pleasant surprise, it appears he spoke with Genji-san, who then made this particular one.

When I first saw a picture of it, and every single time after, all I could see was water being poured into it, sort of sloshing around, pure and clear. It sounds lame, I know, but the yuzamashi knew its purpose and wanted to full fill it. When it came, as soon as it was unwrapped, without thinking about it, I filled it with water, and it was like a deep itch had finally been scratched.

Yeah, lame, I know, but this piece is special to me, nonetheless.

It handles very well. Being wide and shallow allows a better distribution of weight than the tetsuki yakishime samashi, facilitating a smoother pour.

I like the feet.

I chose to say little and let the pictures try to speak for themselves. But I can tell you that seeing a picture is nothing like holding them. These two items are superb.


Brent said...

Woo hoo! Nice pics, those sure are beauties. Hope they're working out well!

Mary R said...

Oh wow...they are so beautiful!

Salsero said...

Congrats, Space. They are works of art.

Anonymous said...

Congrats and I envy you now...