Okey dokey. After many months of reading, study and searching for a high-quality matcha vessel, I settled on two outstanding examples of teaware art, offered by Dr. Coffee.
Shino and Tenmoku Chawan, listed on Etsy June 24 09:
Active Tenmoku and Nuka stoneware teabowl, listed on June 13, 2009:
As a history buff and student of the 19th c Arts and Crafts design movement, I follow it's credo: own only that which is both functional and beautiful.
These chawan are subtle, elegant and deceiving in their simplicity, for they are visually complex layered designs.
The shino chawan reminds one, in coloration and pattern motif, of a slightly faded ancient villa tile floor. It might sit comfortably in a museum display of such objects and you wouldn't blink at it's inclusion because it carries an air of antiquity.
The second has a distinctly modern, organic feel in the vertical glaze ('active drip', evidenced by the glaze that crawled onto the kiln surface as shown in the upper photo) elements and dramatic contrast of colors. Horizontal color band frames the lip, but unlike the careful repeating structure of the shino body, the tenmoku vertical colors flow gracefully downwards, reinforcing the body curve terminating at the foot, with repeat v-shape pattern of trees or flowers. The organic contrast color motif is repeated on the inner surface, suggestive of a flower or seed pod.
These are aesthetically pleasing, functional works of tea art.
William Morris would have approved.