So, ever since John Baymore gave me a tease about having a matcha can in a photo, and enlightened me as to what a chaire is - i've been searching for one.
I havent found a good source.
Something about rikyucha.com makes me nervous.
Do any of you own chaire?
Anyone know a good source for one?
Do any of our distinguished artisans ever create them?
I also wonder what i should expect to pay for a decent one?
And finally - if you have one, would you be willingto post a pic, hopefully w/ matcha involvement?
Curiously yours in matcha,
ps- also, ive been wondering about the utility of chaire; some of them look to me like it would be difficult to get to the matcha and then get the matcha to the chawan, whats up with that?!
I don't remember teasing you about the matcha tin at ALL. If I did... I'm sorry
One thing to remember about chaire (as opposed to the usual lacquer or porcelain nasume) is that they are intended for koicha (thick tea), not usucha (thin tea). Most home matcha users make usucha, and do so very informally. Chaire are also intended for actual Chanoyu, so in a highly informal setting they are an "added aesthetic object". Basically meaning, "if it floats your boat....... use one
As to the tea access issue you mention.... chaire are used a bit differently than you might expect. For a formal koicha session, the host knows how many guests he/she will be serving in advance. The correct amount of matcha for that many guests is prepared(measured, sifted etc.) and is placed in the chaire. During the ceremony a couple of scoops of the tea are ritually taken from the chaire with the chasahaku and placed into the chawan...... BUT.... the rest is poured directly out of the chaire. So the "ease of access" is not all that huge an issue.
I make chaire along with other chadogu. I've been doing so for many, many years. As a gaijin (foreigner) I can get away with "bucking tradition"
. So I use porcelain lids on the stoneware chaire, and a dark almost black clay lid on the porcelain ones (it is the only thing I use porcelain for). A few weeks ago in Japan at a depato exhibition in Tokyo I ran into a Japanese potter from Mashiko using porcelain for chaire lids! Thought that was great!
Here is a picture of one I already posted in my Artisan's thread:
I also own a number of them by various Japanese artists.
As mentioned, chaire can be quite expensive pieces of chadogu. They are the main "supporting actor" to the chawan's lead role.