20 March 2009

Gaiwans & Pitchers, Cups, a Jar, and an Ugly Teapot

New works out of the kiln. I'm still figuring out the best curves and knob styles for gaiwans, ones that avoid burning heat but are still comfortable to hold and functional. I'm happy with the glazes, mostly.

Gaiwans & Pitchers:

Black and Blue Gaiwan:
This started as a project for ABX from Teachat. He wanted a "drippy" blue and black gaiwan that was somewhat small and wider.

Black and Blue Gaiwan

I'm really pleased with the result, but I need to use less blue glaze next time. First, I think the exterior of the piece doesn't utilize the black as negative space, not as well as it could. Second, the glaze dripped onto the foot of the piece, and I had to chip the foot to get the piece off the kiln shelf.

But, the interior is great:

Black and Blue Gaiwan

Mother of Pearl Gaiwan with Slip Decoration:
Love this glaze. This gaiwan pours well without burning my fingers, but it's a little wide. Small hands might have trouble with it.

Mother of Pearl Set 2 - gaiwan Mother of Pearl Set 2 - gaiwan front view 2

Mother of Pearl Set, Ming-lidded Gaiwan and Pitcher:
The lid's not quite deep enough, and it gets somewhat hot. Thankfully, though, the pitcher pours well.

Mother of Pearl Set 1 - gaiwan and pitcher
Mother of Pearl Set 1 - gaiwan lid

Closeup of the pitcher glaze:
Mother of Pearl Set 1 - glaze closeup

Mother of Pearl Pitcher:
An experiment with throating the spout. Still need to test the pour against other pitchers I've made.

Mother of Pearl Set 2 - pitcher aerial view


Several sets of mother-of-pearl glazed cups. The set of three has thicker glaze, hence the foggier texture. The thinner glaze and ribs on the other cups bring out the pinks and blues of the glaze. The cups are quite small and suitable for gongfu.

Mother of Pearl Cup Set 1

Mother of Pearl Cup Set 2 - one pair

Mother of Pearl Cup Set 2 - second pair


Tri-lobed Jar in Green Satin Glaze
This glaze usually doesn't move, but it moved enough to stick to the shelf, so the foot is slightly damaged. But, the rest of it is gorgeous. I really like the shape. Two lids for better tea storage ability.

Green Tri-lobed Jar

Inner lid:
Green Tri-lobed Jar

My First Teapot:

Well, I tried. The spout and handle are too big and the glaze went orange. The spout torqued in the firing, so it's slightly crooked in addition to being oversized and hideous. Throwing spouts, I learned, requires a lot of skill that I do not yet have.

The handle, while it looks disproportionate, is comfortable to hold. That's probably the only plus.

Ugly Teapot

13 March 2009

Pottery Show / Craft Fair

Davin and I will be displaying our pottery and making tea for the visitors at our studio's student show. If you're in LA, feel free to stop by and say hi! We will only be at the evening show.

21 and over only: vodka, beer, appetizers (we have a chef!) and tea will be served.

07 March 2009

LA Tea Affair 2nd Anniversary Event

LATA 2nd Anniversary - pot of goodness
(Photo: Will)

LA Tea Affair events have been some of the most fun tea drinking I have experienced since coming back from Asia. Those of you within driving distance of Los Angeles do not know what you are missing if you haven't come to an LA Tea Affair event yet.

LATA 2nd Anniversary - kettle and gaiwanLATA 2nd Anniversary - lighting the charcoal
(Photos: Tom)

A few weeks ago we celebrated our 2nd anniversary with an outdoor tea at the California Institute of Technology, drinking tea from 1:30 p.m. until past sundown. The recent rains cleared up for the day, and we enjoyed tea, cheese, honey, fresh air and good company.

LATA 2nd Anniversary - Jason and Honey
Jason with honey. Dan unimpressed. (Photo: Will)

Pu'er and oolong were on the menu:
LATA 2nd Anniversary - brewing
The spread...

The spring yiwu was thick and impressive. The Dong Ding was hearty and chocolatey (well priced, too). The Rou Gui had strong qi and fruity oxidation. The Song Zhong I really liked, even though Imen, proprietress of Tea Habitat, said it usually comes out better; it was dankly floral like too many roses, and when we drank it, we all shut up.

LATA 2nd Anniversary - yay tea!
Yay tea! (Photo: Will)

We saved the oldest for last and switched to two 1970s pu'er. By the second tea, it was already dark, and I had to wear a headlamp to brew the tea. That's dedication! Somehow, someone (not me) had planned for this.

LATA 2nd Anniversary - Dedicated to tea
Tea dork (Photo: Imen)

The two 70s pu'ers pushed us into tea drunkenness, and the last one still had some strength left when we had to leave for dinner, so we brought the wet leaves with us and had the restaurant brew them for us.

We ate at a Sichuan restaurant so authentic the front door could have been a portal to China. Fresh Sichuan peppercorn numbed us, pickled peppers burned us, and many napkins later we left with full bellies and ready for some dessert. We slurped black rice and fruit concoctions at a Hong Kong style dessert place known for serving frog fallopian tubes and birds nest mixed into their treats.