Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My "real" goshokago from Japan

Even though I love making my own chabako from found materials, I wanted a "real" goshokago from Japan to compare with the ones I make. I wanted to see if I had accurately guessed at the dimensions and "feel" of traditional ones. 

To explain how long I've wished for one, when I visited Japan in 1984, I saw a picture in a magazine of a lady in kimono with all the pieces spread out on view. At the time, I had only studied chanoyu for a year and didn't know how they were used, but I was fascinated that they all fit into a beautiful lidded basket. 

Goshokago sets are very expensive, but I finally found one in my price range. Here it is:


It was missing only the brocade shifuku case for the chashaku, so I found a silk necktie that has similar colors, and made one.












Summer Chabako, revised -
an update to my clear chabako in the September 1, 2012 entry

My friend Becky Wehmer, a glass artist in Michigan, made 3 furidashi and 2 chakin tsu-tsu for my clear chabako set. Also In the picture is the ceramic furidashi that came with my traditional set, for comparison. The stopper from it fits one of the glass ones, and I made a stopper for another one.


I use a glass kettle on a vintage plate-warmer for hot water.


I'm still looking for a more interesting glass tea caddy than the spice jar in the picture. I'm waiting to receive a pretty glass chawan, I ordered from Japan, but the double-walled one works well. 

It may be hard to see in the picture below, that the chasen (whisk) is in a chasen tsu-tsu I made from a sheet of plastic stitched with silver thread.


Monday, June 8, 2015



Last Saturday, I hosted a tea gathering to say farewell to a fellow tea student who is moving away. I hadn't hosted a group this large, so my dear husband helped me fix some additional vintage stools for the occasion. (I sanded, he painted, I made cushions.) 


The kikka (guest tables) were arranged so that we could have two seating of five people each. Sensei made tea for the guest of honor plus 4 others, and then I made tea for the second group of five students and friends.


We used the green kaigu set that I made, and my recent acquisitions, a natsume with flying bird, and tea scoop with leaf-shaped tip. Does anyone know what kind of bird this is?


i-kan-jin (man at the well) futa-oki that I made.
 




Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy New Year!

This is my recent acquisition for chanoyu, a tanzaku-bako, traveling box for Japanese tea ceremony.
I chose the utensils especially to make tea for 2 potter-artist friends who came to visit last week. We had great times in the past, sharing our passion for making pottery and presenting tea ceremony.


This arrangement is just for the photo-record, not the way they are used for making tea.

top shelf: Hagi chawan from Japan.

middle shelf:
shino chawan by Dale Neese, Texas potter.

bottom shelf:
mizusashi / fresh water jar, by me.

in front, L-R:
bamboo chasen/whisk,
dark bamboo chashaku/tea scoop,
bamboo hishaku/ladle
on a sankanjin style futaoki / lid rest from Japan,
black natsume / tea caddy (maple, pine and gingko leaf design),
shino chawan by Angela Rogers, Austin TX potter.

My sunroom/tearoom, ready to make tea for friends. Since it's winter, the kettle is in a ro/ sunken hearth, between host and guests, to create a sense of warmth. The scroll "Thus Now" was chosen to remind us that sharing tea with friends after many years apart is a very special occasion.




Friday, June 6, 2014

New tea things just out of the kiln

After a busy winter, I finally found time to mix some glazes and test new clays in my home studio. The mizusashi is about 6" tall, and the teabowls are 4 1/2" in diameter.
Because the summers are long, very hot and dry here, I plan to make more tea things with a sense of coolness.
Clear glaze on white clay.

Chidori, plover bird.
Happy circles.

Dragonflies on hira-chawan, for summer.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Here is one more little travel chabako I put together recently. I found the metal box at a resale shop, and a vintage collapsible cup with a lid for the kensui (bowl for discarded rinse water). I made a chakin tsutsu and furidashi with marbled clay and small white stoneware chawan with similar colors. 

The chasen is extra small so I will use the plastic container as the tsutsu until I can find time to make one of aluminum.  Also, in bottom center of photo is half of a screen ball-shaped tea-infuser that I use to sift the matcha. Instead of a lacquer natsume I use a tin container that matcha came in when I first began lessons in the 80s.  (not in picture.)



Happy New Year!

Jou and Uba with trial replacement rake & broom.
Even though they were on separate shelves in an antique mall, and their broom and rake were missing, I recognized them as Jotomba, the old couple who are spirits of twin pines, in the Noh Drama called Takasago. I quickly chose them to come home with me as compliments to the natsume (tea caddy) I had acquired this year. It has a portion of a poem from Takasago written on the outside and a drawing of their broom and rake on the inside of the lid.

They often displayed at the New Year and at weddings and anniversaries. At Sensei's Hatsugama tea gathering last month, my figures were displayed in her living room, with 2 shoots of Rosemary planted in a bonsai pot, to represent the pines. I presented usucha with the Takasago natsume.

Uba (the woman) sweeps away all sorrow, and Jou (the man) rakes in blessings.
Happy New Year full of blessing to you!
Rake & broom I made for them.