The teabowl has become an iconic form in contemporary ceramics. Having travelled from Japan, where it was an inherent part of chanoyu, or tea ceremony, it has evolved and adapted to become something very different in the West.
Revered for its associations of its past and its connotations of sophistication and simplicity, the teabowl enjoys an elevated status. Here, Bonnie Kemske looks at the form as a whole, considering the history and ideas behind the original tea ceremony: how it moved into contemporary ceramics, and the way it is used today. She explores the wide range of teabowls, from traditional ones to those being made not for the tearoom but for the gallery, as well as introducing the international potters making them.
The book also tackles some difficult questions, notably, how has the concept of the teabowl changed as it has been reinvented in contemporary ceramics? How does it sit in relation to its history? This book is wide in scope, thorough in detail and essential reading for anyone involved in making or using these tactile objects.
Bonnie Kemske has crafted a compelling and deeply personal meditation on the power of the teabowl in Japan and in the world of ceramics today. This volume is beautifully illustrated and attentive to an array of historic and contemporary teabowls. * Morgan Pitelka, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and author of Handmade Culture (2005) and Spectacular Accumulation (2015) *
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