Chawan vs Yunomi


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Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby JRS22 » Dec 26th, '13, 21:31

I was over at Shyrabbit's Etsy shop lusting after the sister to the yunomi I purchased recently. I strayed from the Yunomi to the Chawan and realize they're 3x the price. What is it about Chawans that makes them cost so much more than yunomi, besides there being more to love?
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby JBaymore » Dec 26th, '13, 22:29

In my case (and most serious teaware makers for actual Chanoyu) it is the fact that of about 100 bowls I make at the wet stage.... about 10-15 of them can get sold as Chawan. Aside from high aesthetic qualities, they also need to basically fit within the constraints of the actual dictates and demands of Chado; there are a lot of "rules" for a real Chawan to conform to. The standards for them are very high, and only the best ones are actually useable in that context. The rest get destroyed.

The price differential between my average yunomi and my average Chawan is about 10X. It should be much higher...... but as yet I am not good enough of a potter to charge more than that in the Japanese market (which dictates my prices).

best,

....................john
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Senchamatcha » Dec 26th, '13, 22:38

Wow... I had no idea that many were destroyed. What is the wet stage? is that where they are formed but before they are glazed? are any of the destroyed materials recyclable?
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby JBaymore » Dec 26th, '13, 22:45

Wet here meant when working with the wet clay in either handbuilding them or throwing them on the potters wheel (depending on the type/style of bowl).

After forming, a few I decide to "abort" before they are born (of fire)......... and that clay can be re-mixed with water and the clay re-used. But most of them make it all the way through to the final firing process begfore the final critique evaluation is done.

Once they are finish fired, they are not reclaimable. They are landfill or mosaic parts for someone who does mosaics :lol: :roll: . Some I use at home for ice cream bowls :lol: :lol: :lol: .

A large piece of the Chawan evaluation cannot be really done well until they are finish fired. Both aesthetically as well as functionally. For example, a slightly too rough section on the rim area (kuchi) whre the bowl must be ritually cleaned with a linen cloth during the Chakai will cause it to get rejected. The bowl might look visually great... but that kind of thing would make a chajin cringe.

Attached below is an example of one of my Chawan. Nice one, huh?

JohnBaymoreChawanReject.jpg
JohnBaymoreChawanReject.jpg (84.28 KiB) Viewed 447 times


Wrong. The thick layer of shino glaze unfortunately pushed the weight over what is comfortable for a bowl of this scale and affected the center of mass balance a bit. So....... it's a reject.

best,

......................john
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby debunix » Dec 26th, '13, 22:59

This makes me appreciate my match-blindness more and more--because I have not yet learned to appreciate matcha, I have saved a lot of $$$ by my preference for drinking vessels that are not chawans. I had no idea the rules for chawans were so exacting!
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Senchamatcha » Dec 26th, '13, 23:08

:) Thanks for the moment of enlightenment. I know very little about pottery. I'm glad you take functionality into consideration, I see so many chawan-esque objects that would not pass for useable (rough edges, fully glazed foot (koudai ), no well at the bottom) so its nice to hear that there are potters who take these things into consideration.
Its nice that the parts you can't use go to someone who can. :D
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Senchamatcha » Dec 26th, '13, 23:11

JBaymore wrote:Wrong. The thick layer of shino glaze unfortunately pushed the weight over what is comfortable for a bowl of this scale and affected the center of mass balance a bit. So....... it's a reject.

You mean physical weight? or aesthetic weight? :?:
I still looks like a lovely chawan to my untrained eyes and surpasses much of the chawan-esque objects i see on etsy.
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Muadeeb » Dec 27th, '13, 00:03

I think many of us would be interested in hearing more about what goes into a critical evaluation of a piece.
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Peacock » Dec 27th, '13, 00:20

I have three chawans. Out of the three of them one of them I consider to be relatively expensive, costing me around $300. Two of my other chawans are from Yuuki-cha and are under $50 dollars each. When I compare the expensive one to the other ones the differences are very noticeable. The way it feels in my hand, more wabi-sabi likeness, the koudai. Compared to the other two, even though it is slightly larger it feels like a feather in my hands. Its not heavy out all.

The other two I bought because I'm a sucker for nice glazes. :grin:

As always, thanks for your insightfulness John.
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby kikula » Dec 27th, '13, 00:57

But why can't the ones that fail to meet those important and exacting chawan standards but which are still nice enough for everyday use be labeled "tea bowls" and sold for far less rather than be thrown away? I find myself mentally reaching into the air to catch those imperfect pieces before they shatter (especially as I doubt that I'll ever afford a $300+ tea vessel of any sort, although I most certainly and deeply appreciate those wonderful, worthy works of art).
John, perhaps you could direct me to your dumpster? You can deny attribution, I won't breathe a word... :)
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby JBaymore » Dec 27th, '13, 09:45

Senchamatcha wrote:I'm glad you take functionality into consideration, I see so many chawan-esque objects that would not pass for useable (rough edges, fully glazed foot (koudai ), no well at the bottom) so its nice to hear that there are potters who take these things into consideration.


It is nice to know there are folks out there that know Chado. :)

best,

......................john
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby JBaymore » Dec 27th, '13, 09:47

Senchamatcha wrote:You mean physical weight?


Physical weight.

best,

....................john
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Dec 27th, '13, 09:56

Muadeeb wrote:I think many of us would be interested in hearing more about what goes into a critical evaluation of a piece.


+1 John, I am also interested to hear more of your point of view/experience on what, generally and personally speaking, makes a good Chawan. Your experienced perspective and knowledge/eye as a potter/ceramicist make me curious to hear more.

I appreciate these two posts by TeaChat's chamekke that I read some time back on the Tea Mind blog about chawan:

1.http://teamind.wordpress.com/2008/05/16 ... an-part-1/

2.http://teamind.wordpress.com/2008/05/17 ... an-part-2/

Blessings!
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby Senchamatcha » Dec 27th, '13, 11:09

JBaymore- I wouldn't say that I know chado, as I have never had a teacher. I just have a basic knowledge of chado thanks to the Internet and a book. Thankfully I have found enough information on bonraku temae that I can complete my own version at home. I really enjoy chado and to understand it you must also know about kimono and what it feels like to wear one ( as it dictates some of the movements and postures) you also need an understanding of scroll art, flower arrangements, and pottery. You learn somethig about one subject and that leads to learning about another. And the cycle repeats endlessly. I think this is what makes japanese culture so interesting.
The more I know about pottery the better I can choose an authentic chawan. Some day I may have a collection and then find a teacher to teach me :) working from the end to get to the beginning.
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Re: Chawan vs Yunomi

Postby ethan » Dec 27th, '13, 13:14

The commitment to making a proper chawan -- wow!

The requirements lead more to an appreciation of chawan vs. bowl.

I don't prepare matcha & guess that I would be happy w/ work that is rejected. Those failures may not be worth photographing & shipping etc., but I am surprised they are not sold on a "seconds" table for people who come directly to the artisans but cannot afford their perfect works.

Thanks to all for this thread.
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