Purchasing used chawan


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Purchasing used chawan

Postby Fireflower » Nov 19th, '13, 08:09

hello everybody, i am planning to buy a new chawan 8possibiliy raku) and i saw some that i like very mihc, the only thing is that they are used.
they look in excellents conditions, simply i do not know if is its hygienic to drink on it.
what doi you think?
thank you very much
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Joel Byron » Nov 19th, '13, 22:51

Well, if you are worried about hygiene, you could boil it in fresh water for a bit. It will get rid of any patina though. It's a vessel you pour hot water into regularly, so bacteria probably aren't much of an issue.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Fireflower » Nov 20th, '13, 01:51

thank you for your reply, but i read that for raku is it better do not put it in boiling water, is it correct?
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Chip » Nov 20th, '13, 12:14

You should never "put" a chawan into boiling water. Place in cooler water and raise the temp slowly. When it approaches boil, that is when I turn off the burner and allow the pottery to remain in the water as it cools.

Some people will put a white towel under the pottery to prevent bouncing and breakage.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby ShawnP » Nov 20th, '13, 14:19

I thought RAKU wasn't food safe? I am sure I am wrong but I thought I read that somewhere.


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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby debunix » Nov 20th, '13, 17:06

IIRC it's not uniformly food-safe, but not uniformly food-unsafe either. Not knowing enough about the manufacture of a used piece of raku ware would be my number on concern about the safety of such an item--not worries about bacteria in the cracks or crevices, because I'd probably bake it.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby hopeofdawn » Nov 20th, '13, 18:29

I thought that was only a problem with western raku ware, which is low-fired and doesn't have a glaze to seal the surface? At least that's what I vaguely remember from my one ceramics class all those years ago .... I thought Japanese raku was a different animal entirely.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Fireflower » Nov 21st, '13, 01:34

i have read something about it on teachat and i understood that raku cannot be safe for food (western for sure) but is safe for the use that is born: for matcha.
i hope that is right, i like to use this chawan only for matcha.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Fireflower » Nov 21st, '13, 01:37

this is the chawan i like to buy - Fujisan (Mt. Fuji), i like it very very much

Image
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby rdl » Nov 21st, '13, 03:46

Fireflower,
I have bought several chawan used - and new, and have never had a problem. remember, if you go to drink matcha out in a tea house you're using a used chawan. i have first washed the bowl with soap and then soaked it 12-18 hours in filtered water, and once it dries it has never given me a problem. if you purchase it and notice a bad smell or something on the surface that doesn't seem right, then i would be concerned.
also, i believe the real issue of raku is the black glaze contains a very small amount of lead - some no longer do like those sold by hibiki-an - but if used for matcha, neither the heat nor the tea will leach the lead out. other uses can, like tomato or lemon juice. if i remember correctly american raku being made differently didn't pose those issues, but japanese raku used for matcha has never been a concern.
i wanted to clarify that the issues with american raku are not lead related, if i am correct, but few potters seem to indicate that their wares are food safe because of the low temp firing.
Last edited by rdl on Nov 21st, '13, 04:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby Fireflower » Nov 21st, '13, 04:00

thank you very much for your reply guys, this forum is heaven for tea lovers!
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby rdl » Nov 21st, '13, 04:10

Fireflower wrote:thank you very much for your reply guys, this forum is heaven for tea lovers!

thanks for sharing your considered purchase. it is a stunning chawan.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby ShawnP » Nov 21st, '13, 08:03

I must say safe or not that Chawan is beautiful, I like it.

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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby JBaymore » Nov 21st, '13, 19:23

This discussion about raku wares (American raku and Japanese Raku are very different processes) comes up in the pottery discussions frequently. I'll see if I can find some replys I have just made on this subject in a potters forum and paste that stuff here shortly.

best,

...................john
Last edited by JBaymore on Nov 21st, '13, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Purchasing used chawan

Postby JBaymore » Nov 21st, '13, 19:30

Excerpt from a posting of mine from a protion of a discussion in a potters forum where I am a Mod:

Posted 19 November 2013 - 11:23 AM
Kohaku, on 19 Nov 2013 - 01:38 AM, said:

I'd think that the issues you'd encounter with a Japanese bowl (porosity, thermal transference) would be similar in a western-style raku vessel... assuming, of course, that there was nothing toxic in the glaze
.


Kohaku,

One of the key "values" of actual Raku ware to a chajin (tea person) is that aspect of the insulating thermal transference quailties you mention. Another is the very light weight. And yet anotehr is the clear fragility of the work (wabi-sabi coming into play). Another highly valued quality in Raku is not somehting that most people not really familiar with Chado are aware of; the sound the whisk makes in Raku wares. Sound is a key component of tea ceremony (every sense is important). Vitrified wares tend to make a harsher sound when the tea is whisked.

Japan is a different place. They have a different legal system. They value ceramics differently. They value "tradition" (in some cases ) diffetently. True Japanese Raku ware is lead glazed. To this day. Laws in Japan tend make exceptions for "artisanal wares".....because they are important. So technically the glazes on those pieces have some real "potential issues" by modern standards.

BUT......... a Japanese Raku teabowl will be put to one use and one use only. It will be used to serve matcha. No one is going to "defile" it by doing anything else. Raku chawan are "revered" objects. Almost like a religious icon (but Chanoyu is NOT a religous ceremony, although Zen values permeate it). And the real ones (Raku family and/or Ohi family) typically are absurdly expensive, although you certainly can find more mass produced ones that are much lower priced.

One of the first things that is done in a real Chakai (tea ceremony gathering) is that the host cleans everything in sight before the guests arrive.... including the utensils. So any film of white lead oxide that forms on the surface of the raw lead glaze is well washed away then. During the cremony itself (shortly after the "big cleaning") the host again ritually cleans the bowl before use. SO by the time tea is made in the bowl, it is well cleaned of potential lead residues that will form on the surface.

The amount of time that the tea in the bowls is, as I mentioned, literally only minutes. For a serving, there is only a small amount of tea in the very bottom of the form. For usucha (thin tea) it is meant to be drunk in about 3 sips. For koicha (thick tea) there is more and it is shared by multiple people, but still very little material in the bottom of the bowl. Leaching tinme and surface exposure is minimal.

I have Raku bowls. In a setting with my students, they are used for display and handling only. In a "tea" setting with "consenting adults", I use them.

The reason I asked about the red is that it looks like a cadmium based red. Hopefully they are using an encapsulated form. Even still........ if you haven't looked at the FDA laws on lead and cadmium use with food wares.... you likely should. Just so you are familiar with them in your decision making process.

I looked at the Duncan Envision MSDS that I could find. I wasn't impressed with its thoroughness. First of all....... there are no individual ones that I could easily find for the individual colors. So the "generic one' seems to me to be night on to useless to guage the actual content.

I've related this story before about a "food safe" non-toxic labeled product from one major manufacturer that I was wanting to use. I called to talk to their tech support folks to get an answer about any lead being in the product, since I make food wares and the FDA laws require that I know about that potential fact.. I got told by the people I first got sent to ... nope... none in there. But from talking to them and asking questions, I became well aware that I knew well more about technical ceramics than they did. These were their "tech support staff" that 99% of potters calling them would get. I kept asking for someone further up the technical "food chain". After a few layers and people who clearly could not answer a real techniocal enquiry, I finally asked them if they had a ceramic engineer type person on their staff. They said they did. I asked to talk to him. In about 1 minute or less I had my answer. Yup... lead in there. Those products are still sold by that company as "food safe".

The whole "non-toxic rating" can be a bit of a "game" on MDSDs and product labeling. You'll notice that the boxes of clay you get often have the ASTM non-toxic ratings on them. And they are. As THAT product..... which is what is being rated. It is really hard to inhale a wet mass of plastic clay. Ah,.... but let that clay dry out ..............and there you have respirable micro-crystaline silica in that stuff. A known human carcinogen, a causer of silicosis, and an OSHA regulated compound in the workplace. They can be sold as non-toxic... because they are wet . Ditto for glazes.

Unfortunately, there is a lot to this stuff.

best,

...........................john


Whole thread can be found here: http://community.ceramicartsdaily.org/t ... raku-mugs/
Last edited by JBaymore on Nov 21st, '13, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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