Tetsubin Green Tea Pot by Nagai Ken
Nagai Ken's clay creations are a skillful melding of two artistic genres closely linked to Japan's tea culture: cast iron wares and wood-fired pottery.
This copper handled tea pot resembles a miniature tetsubin - the kind of iron kettles used to boil water for green tea. Meticulously handcrafted in minute detail (the knob on the lid swivels), it is a testament to Nagai's exceptional forming and firing skill.
The pot was fired at Tenkū-gama - the artist's wood-burning noborigama climbing kiln. While in the kiln, warm gradations of rust red to chocolate brown formed on the unglazed clay as it was forever heat changed, superheated feldspar crystals peppered the body as they burst through their earthen bed, and swirling embers of pine, in wave after wave, fused with the surface to produce a natural glaze which is rough yet pleasing to the touch.
The inside of the pot has a built-in sieve and a total capacity of 120 ml (about 4 oz.). It is ideally suited for small cups of gyokuro or Chinese oolong. Functional as well as beautiful, this piece promises many memorable tea moments over the years.
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