The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic


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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Chip » Feb 10th, '10, 21:03

Thank you for your submissions, Tim and Ericka.

I have been closely observing several of my Elm Studio recycled glass and Cory Lum Soda ash pieces. The glass and the "glass" on all the pieces are extremely smooth with crackling beneath the surface.

Knowing I am dealing with glass, I do take some extra care, just as I would if I was using an actual glass chawan. The temps I use are not extreme which I am certain the temp extremes are bound to cause a problem the would not exist IRL.

I think a little common sense goes a long way here.

Truly this glass and the soda ash application adds a whole new and fascinating dimension to teaware. I find it quite desirable. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby debunix » Feb 11th, '10, 00:48

A completely different question: I've found it hard to find really small teaware for brewing oolong and puerh teas 6-12 infusions apiece, without ending up with ruptured bladder. This would be particularly nice for comparative brewings of 2-4 teas at once, where the volume issues are compounded several fold.

I know that both very large and very small ceramics become technically difficult. How small is too small to be easily made? I presume it would very if we're talking pot vs kyusu vs gaiwan vs cup.

And would you, as a teaware artisan, make more very small vessels if there was a known market for them? What kind of a premium price is reasonable to expect for a very small vessel?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 11th, '10, 02:32

debunix wrote:<snip>I know that both very large and very small ceramics become technically difficult. How small is too small to be easily made? I presume it would very if we're talking pot vs kyusu vs gaiwan vs cup


Easily...heh...anything smaller than 150ml is pretty tough for me. Gaiwans are easier than pots; small, functional, thin spouts are a pain. But I don't have the long experience of the other potters here, so I'm curious about their responses, too. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby timseeclay » Feb 11th, '10, 08:35

debunix wrote:And would you, as a teaware artisan, make more very small vessels if there was a known market for them? What kind of a premium price is reasonable to expect for a very small vessel?


Your in the right frame of mind. Most people want to pay less when a piece is small but the same work has to be done for the same parts. Would you only want to rinse out the teapot when finished? Would you want a strainer? Those are the two limitations I run into when making a teapot small. If you had a specific volume and style you wanted I might already have one around.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Littlepig2 » Feb 11th, '10, 23:19

bearsbearsbears wrote:
debunix wrote:<snip>I know that both very large and very small ceramics become technically difficult. How small is too small to be easily made? I presume it would very if we're talking pot vs kyusu vs gaiwan vs cup


Easily...heh...anything smaller than 150ml is pretty tough for me. Gaiwans are easier than pots; small, functional, thin spouts are a pain. But I don't have the long experience of the other potters here, so I'm curious about their responses, too. :mrgreen:


I just measured the volume of a couple of my smallest tea pots. They fall into the range 200 -250 ml. I could make smaller but I think I'm with bears(3). Anything smaller than 150 ml would . . .well. . . be a 'bear' to make. :P
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby chicagopotter » Feb 14th, '10, 00:13

debunix wrote:And would you, as a teaware artisan, make more very small vessels if there was a known market for them? What kind of a premium price is reasonable to expect for a very small vessel?


I tend to make small vessels even if there isn't a known market for them. I actually have a show up now that in nothing but small teaware. Working in the diminutive has always been natural for me, even with largish hands. I also figure that there are plenty of potters making Japanese, European, and earliy American inspired teaware, so I'd rather look to Chinese pieces for inspiration.

You can see some of my current work here:
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=9490&p=145202#p142395
http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=9490&p=145202#p145202
(BTW, all the teapots have strainers)

Haven't made any gaiwan yet, but that is next on the list of forms to explore.

Price is a bit harder to come up with. It really depends on the amt of time, amt of materials, and general overhead that goes into each piece. I tend to price too low, but at this early stage of my career, it gets a lot of my work into more hands. And really, to me, it is more important that the pieces be used than how much money I make. Now if I become a full time potter and need make my living off it, that story will change.

The question can also be posed to the customer or consumer: How much would you be willing to spend on a very small and well-crafted piece from an independent artist?

I think this is an issue that many artists struggle with...
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Petr Novák » Feb 19th, '10, 17:55

CHris- I really like your style of tea ware.
And I agree with almost all what you are saying

I am happy to say that more and more customers ask for small teapots which I prefer to do. I find that make good small teapot is kind of chalenge. Every single datail is importent and I think that small teapot have more noticable influence on tea than biger (may be bacause for really good tea I usually choose smaller one so the pot is more importent). On small teapot plays everything. It does not has to be perfect- it has to be right for tea.

So yes, right small teapots (100ml to250ml) are usually more expensive than bigger.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby ginkgo » Feb 22nd, '10, 16:00

Image

I make small porcelain teapots . Some are 100 ml or 150 ml and some are bigger 200ml, 300ml . But that is true that it is big work to do . it takes more time then a larger one because we have to be very vry precise to manipulate it, specially with porcelain . But i think teas and specially green and oolongs are just very precise with aromas in such porcelin tea ware. It is different that with a gaiwan and also with yiying tea pots ... But i have not compare all that very precisly. ( photos are not so well. ...sorry )
Image
Image
Image
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Petr Novák » Feb 22nd, '10, 18:17

Nice Gingo, I like yours birds...Do you have sieves inside of the tea pots?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby ginkgo » Feb 23rd, '10, 04:31

I make some littles holes directly inside the earth for some teapots but ...with the little ones I prefer not to have that because the tea flow is coming out too slowly . For bigger teapot I have some metal sieves that fit with the teapot and we can choose to use it or not .
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Petr Novák » Feb 23rd, '10, 05:23

I found very helfull for tea if I make hollow shaped sieve like that. This teapot is around 180ml.
sieve.jpg
sieve.jpg (111.94 KiB) Viewed 1309 times
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby JBaymore » Feb 23rd, '10, 12:50

chicagopotter wrote:The question can also be posed to the customer or consumer: How much would you be willing to spend on a very small and well-crafted piece from an independent artist?

I think this is an issue that many artists struggle with...


The answers to this question are, at the core, based on the "means" of the consumer. To some, a $50 yunomi is pushing the financial credibility limit. To others, a $1000 yunomi can be considered a bargain and a trivial purchase.

I have a friend (and ceramics student) here in NH that has a collection of Japanese guinomi, tokkuri, and some chawan that most museums would kill to have. It includes pieces from almost all of the Ningen Kokuho (Living National Treasures). As you might imagine, his/her "yardstick" for the acceptable price for a small piece of pottery will likely vary greatly from the typical Walmart shopper's.

I own pieces from many very good and well known Japanese potters that I have only because of friendships and professional associations. Were I to need to purchase them, I would not own them. I could appreciate the quality of the work, and fondle them longingly, but I simply could not afford them. My means would not support those kinds of purchases.

Secondly, the answer comes down to the general valuation of good ceramic art work in the culture of the consumer. I have sold pieces in Japan for $1000 that here in the USA would sell for more like $100. The political/cultural "pecking order" for the status of good ceramic art in Japan is generally higher than that in the USA....at least for established mid to late career artists. I imagine that in other parts of the world it will also vary....but I don't know the specifics having not traveled extensively in many other countries. (My perception is that Japan is likely at the "high end" of the scale.)

So that $50 yuniomi in the USA might represent a piece of work by a decent established artist, while a 4200 円 (about the same price these days) yunomi in Japan might be more typical of a newer developing artist. To get a good yunomi from a well established artist in Japan, the Japanese consumer will expect to pay a lot more than the average American will expect to pay for the same general type of object.

Then there is the concept of "percieved value" to fit in here somehow within the other parts of the equation.

For my "really small pieces", I guess my chaire (tea caddies) and futaoki (lid rests) are the two smallest objects I tend to make, and are somewhat similar in general scale. The general pricing on my chaire (before the box charge) are about 7 to 10 times the typical price of the futaoki. This difference has to do with the general valuation most chadoka place on the caddy over the (ceramic) lid rest.

Then there is the factor of "market positioning" and market segmentation.

If I take the aforementioned chaire totally "out of context" and place the same object into a different market segment, the valuation also changes. The same piece sold as a "chatchka jar" or "earring jar" or whatever would not be able to be sold for the same price structure. While the particular object might be a "killer" one aesthetically in that context, it would instantly be looked at by consumers looking for that kind of piece as way, WAY, WAY overpriced.

The whole thing is very complicated and deals with elements of consumer education, human psychology, marketing, and market positioning.

best,

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

Side note: For the really new ceramist in Japan, getting "established" at all is REALLY a difficult proposition. The number of potters there is HUGE, and the pot buying populace is pretty well educated at to pots. Competition is heavy and it tends to quickly sort out the rice from the husks. So it can be a very difficult road for the new potter....with prices for early work sitting VERY low on the scale. Often below USA pricing for similar quality.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby debunix » Feb 23rd, '10, 14:31

These replies about pot size have been quite interesting, particularly in that most seem to consider pots of less than 200mL to be small. I consider my largest clay pot at 180mL to be quite large, and rarely use it. For gong fu sessions for one, which is where my clay pots are used most often, I have a group of pots that hold just over 60mL apiece, for which I think I paid about $6 apiece. Obviously at that price they're not finest quality yixing clay, but they do hold leaves and water well, have ceramic straining spouts, and pass the pour test--holding my thumb over the knob on the lid stops the pour.

To make a high quality piece at that size would clearly not be trivial, and if I were to pay an appropriate price for that effort, I would almost certainly be so nervous about handling it that I'd immediately drop it onto my tile floor.

In a few years, though, I do expect to have my own kitchen, with more forgiving surfaces, and I'll be readier to scout for or commission such high-value pieces.
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby davidv7 » Feb 25th, '10, 07:37

Hello to all. I am new to this forum and I am really fond of Japanese ceramics. But I am a little (OK much) confused.
I have allready acquired 18 guinomis, 1 "wan", 1 yunomi and 4 Chawans.
I am comfortable with the Chawan`s size and function and can tell a good one from a not so good one functionally.
I am more confused regarding other items, please if someaone could tell me the difference between a Yunomi and a Wan - if there is one?
Also how big is too big for a guinomi (although I like the small ones best)?
I am confused, how can You tell the difference between a guinomi and a yunomi/wan? Or it is just what the seller/author says it is?
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Re: The Official "Ask the Artisan" Community Topic

Postby Victoria » Feb 25th, '10, 07:55

Wan just means bowl and is more generic, but usually is associated with a mid size bowl for drinking tea. A Yunomi is usually shaped more vertically, but not always. Guinomi are very small, as you know, and intended for sake. But I think most of us here use them for tea. There is no guideline as to what the potter or vendor may call it or the size, but since most who are making or selling are Japanese, you will find commonalities. Most fall in the same range. Guinomi are typically 1-4 oz. Yunomi are usually 3-6 oz in a bowl shape, if cylindrical up to 8 oz or more. A typical general purpose "wan" would be 6-12 oz. Larger than that are you are into Chawan territory, which as you know is a matcha bowl.
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