Raku (raku-yaki) is a low-fired ceramic ware
first produced by Sasaki Chojirō (d. 1592) in the 16th century in Kyoto.
Under the encouragement and patronage of his close friend, tea master Sen no Rikyū,
he crafted a style of bowl which was devoid of any decoration or sense
of movement. They were made to embody Rikyū's wabi-cha
philosophy - that is, tea ceremony in which great emphasis is
placed on simplicity, austerity and quiet appreciation.
Although the appellation "Raku" is reserved for those works made by
Chojirō and his successors, the term is used by a number of contemporary Japanese potters who
adhere to the same forming, glazing and firing techniques.
Sawada Hiroyuki is one who stands out among them. An artist with over 35 years of experience crafting
ceramic wares for tea ceremony, Mr. Sawada specializes in raku-yaki
and strives to create bowls with the same sense of presence as those
made by the early Raku masters. And in this piece, we see the
influence of Ichinyu IV (1640 -1696), who was the first to blend copper
reds (shugusuri) with black.
This kuro (black) raku bowl is formed entirely by hand, without the aid of a potter's
wheel, in a meticulous process which negates any sense of mechanical
precision. In the absence of decorative elements, it communicates with the viewer on a more abstract and subconscious
level. A sense of monolithic strength is
immediately perceptible in its half-cylindrical body, yet
restrained by the soft curvature of the rim. Grace and balance
are conveyed at the base where the weight of the bowl comes to rest
squarely upon the footring. Ichinyu's contribution from the past adds
a sense of heated energy to half of the bowl.
Raku bowls present tea like no other vessel. When filled with
the verdant color of whipped matcha, the contrasting
colors strike a harmonious balance, transforming the bowl into a
contemplative piece reminiscent of a quiet Zen garden.
Hankyu exhibition for more works from his recent collection.
A wooden presentation box will be custom made to order and signed by
the artist. Delivery time for this item is 3 weeks.
Raku bowls are intended solely
for the preparation of matcha green tea.
glazing safety for more
A display cloth (fukusa) is included.
special raku care