Andrzej Bero - Journey through the Mud


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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Jun 28th, '11, 15:27

Abracada,
Buying on internet especially teaware is for me a very risky move.I meen not only intentionl cheating but situation you buy something for touching without touching. So I am realy happy you do not regret your purchase. And wait for your shots from action. Thanks
andrzej
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby Nenugal » Jul 4th, '11, 11:44

Nenugal wrote:
andrzej bero wrote:
Nenugal wrote:Volunteer :mrgreen:


Great! So chawan will go to Norway!
Thanks for your bravery Nenugal:-)

please send me kindly details of your address

best
a.


Dziękuję for offering me the chance to try this, it is very exciting and I'll do my best to give as useful comments as possible :)
PM sent.


The chawan arrived today, thank you very much again!
I like it a lot, it is really good looking, the glass crystallization in the bottom and along the "ribs" on the outside is a nice feature! The hand feel and the shape is good and the weight also feels "right".

I'll keep you all updated on my experiences and impressions when I have had a chance to try it out a bit :mrgreen:
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Jul 5th, '11, 04:54

Enjoy!
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby Nenugal » Jul 10th, '11, 13:21

andrzej bero wrote:FOR ALL FEARLESS TC MEMBERS!

Inspired by Petr Novak ( 2 last posts) I am looking for one (first) person ready to test my “raku” (western style) chawan.
Condition:
experience in matcha
more than 50 posts on TC
report here after testing
Chawan is for free, shipping too:)
Thanks

andrzej
wDSC_4773.jpg


Thank you very much again for giving me this chance to be part of this experiment!

If I understand correctly, I am seeing as my main task to evaluate if this chawan is useable for matcha, inspired by some doubts and uncertainties about how some aspects of the process of western raku may affect the user experience.

I'll first try to summarise the background for these doubts, and please do correct me if I'm wrong or inaccurate in any of the following:
Both Japanese and western raku are relatively low-fired, and black raku relatively higher fired than red raku. This make raku in general more porous than more high-fired pottery, and will therefore have a higher tendency to catch odors from the environment. The main difference between Japanese raku and Western raku firing process, is that western raku has an extra step where the item is put it into a can of sawdust and/or grass. This will lead to the chawan being literally smoked, and it will get nice dark cracklings, as seen for example in this chawan. The problem, is that since raku easily absorbs odors because of the porous nature of the pottery, the smokey smell may be disturbing the matcha-drinker, and therefore, some will regard western raku as better used for decoration, but not so good for making matcha.

In addition to describing my experience with this particular piece of raku, I'll also just for fun in a later post compare it to a Japanese black raku chawan, knowing well that I'll be comparing apples and oranges :mrgreen:

The chawan when it arrived, did indeed show that odors may stick to it, by smelling a bit of polystyrene (from the packing material) after unpacking. However, no smoky odors were detectable. I washed it in warm water and left it to air out over night, and the next morning, the smell of polystyrene was completely gone, in fact it was now completely free of smell, except for a hint of clay-smell from the foot (koudai).

Actually, it is my experience that all unglazed feet smell. Particularly Hagi-yaki can have quite smelly feet, as you may notice if you put your nose close to it. However, this has never had any effect on the tea for me since the foot is not in direct contact with the tea, and too far away from the nose while drinking, for being detectable.

So, I've been making matcha in this one three times now, twice thin (usucha) and once thick (koicha), and I am in general very happy with the results (more on that in the later post), and there has been nothing smoky taste-wise or scent-wise to disturb the matcha-experience :)

What is an interesting question now, is if anything special have been done with this piece and the other raku-pieces of Andrzei, to avoid the reputed smoky smell of western raku?
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Jul 31st, '11, 20:24

Nenugal, I am impressed how earnestly you worked on that.
In my opinion you in very good way pointed main similarities and differences between west and east raku technique. IMHO of person who nerver studied in Japan and can not understand some very subtle ruls transmited through generations.

Nenugal wrote:So, I've been making matcha in this one three times now, twice thin (usucha) and once thick (koicha), and I am in general very happy with the results (more on that in the later post), and there has been nothing smoky taste-wise or scent-wise to disturb the matcha-experience :)

Well that was the most important for me so I am happy of the result:)

Nenugal wrote:What is an interesting question now, is if anything special have been done with this piece and the other raku-pieces of Andrzei, to avoid the reputed smoky smell of western raku?

2 things. First - I have used more newspaper than sawdust (I notice less smoke-black) but as I know that is not my invention. Second - after reduction phase item can be black of soot so I have to clean it using detergents.

Nenugal wrote:I'll also just for fun in a later post compare it to a Japanese black raku chawan, knowing well that I'll be comparing apples and oranges :mrgreen:

looking forward!

thanks
andrzej
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby Nenugal » Aug 1st, '11, 07:01

andrzej bero wrote:Nenugal, I am impressed how earnestly you worked on that.
In my opinion you in very good way pointed main similarities and differences between west and east raku technique. IMHO of person who nerver studied in Japan and can not understand some very subtle ruls transmited through generations.

Nenugal wrote:So, I've been making matcha in this one three times now, twice thin (usucha) and once thick (koicha), and I am in general very happy with the results (more on that in the later post), and there has been nothing smoky taste-wise or scent-wise to disturb the matcha-experience :)

Well that was the most important for me so I am happy of the result:)

Nenugal wrote:What is an interesting question now, is if anything special have been done with this piece and the other raku-pieces of Andrzei, to avoid the reputed smoky smell of western raku?

2 things. First - I have used more newspaper than sawdust (I notice less smoke-black) but as I know that is not my invention. Second - after reduction phase item can be black of soot so I have to clean it using detergents.

Nenugal wrote:I'll also just for fun in a later post compare it to a Japanese black raku chawan, knowing well that I'll be comparing apples and oranges :mrgreen:

looking forward!

thanks
andrzej


Thank you for your kind words!
So as promised, although quite a bit delayed, here is my apple-and-oranges comparison of two raku. One Japanese black raku, and Andrzej's red raku.
I did the comparison by setting up a list of aspects to consider while making matcha; if/how they affects the taste of matcha, how is the usability during making of matcha, temperature response, the hand feel, the weight, thickness, looks,...

The red raku of Andrzej has already been described in the previous post, and the black raku is one that is supposedly hand-made by the Shoraku kiln, but probably somewhat mass-produced since it was presented in a cardboard box and cost around $70, which is relatively inexpensive for real hand-made Japanese raku.

Image

For making matcha (usucha) I used
Organic Uji Matcha Tenkei Tori
Tap water (70 degrees)
Generic 100 prong whisk

First some comments about the looks of the two chawan. The black one seem to be pinched rather than wheeled, and this is as far as I have understood the common way for Japanese raku. The red one seems to be made on a potter's wheel from the shape of the walls (please correct me if I'm wrong in this!). The pinching gives a less symmetrical and perhaps more "affected by nature" looks, that I like quite a lot. On the other hand, I think the red one has a light elegance of shape that the black one lacks.

The glaze is quite different, apart from the obvious difference in colour. The red raku has a glaze that is quite shiny and a bright orange with dark (very beautiful!) spider-web-like patterns, and a bit crystallised glass in the interior bottom. The black glaze is less shiny and has "micro-holes" that makes it look a bit porous, and the black glaze also seem to attract dust from the environment. Both has quite smooth surfaces and edges; no problems for the lips or the whisk. On the black one, the foot is covered by glaze, and the clay shows through in some spots on the outside wall of the chawan. The red one has an unglazed foot. I tend to like the smoothness of glazed feet, so I appreciate this feature of the black one, and it also has a nice warm grey-brown colour on the exposed clay on the side. The red one has a more cold grey colour of clay exposed on the foot.

Image

When lifting and holding them, I notice that the black one is heavier (it is also taller so that is no surprise) and seem to encourage two-handed use while the red one is so light that it feels natural to use one-handed or one-and-a-half-handed.

When pre-heating, I notice that red heats up faster, but also lose the heat a bit faster than the more massive black one. However, both keep the heat well enough for matcha use.

When making matcha, whisking is slightly better in the black one, drinking is very good and natural from both, but the lip-feel is better on the red. The looks and taste of the matcha is not noticeably affected by either of them.
Image


A question strikes me as important when comparing these: How does it make me feel to drink from them? The black one is full of old Japanese tradition of raku for tea ceremony, and although it is a relatively cheap one and probably a bit mass produced, it still makes me feel a bit respectful and solemn when I use it. The red one, while still sufficiently ceremonial, also makes me creatively satisfied, I become aware that it is a one of a kind piece of functional art, created by an artist and craftsman that put his soul and creativity into it.

The artists/craftsmen of western raku have taken the old Japanese tradition, re-invented it and made it their own. I applaud the efforts to make western raku that works well for tea ceremony, and the red one is a great example of this.
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Aug 2nd, '11, 07:35

Nenugal once again - awsome review, nice shots. Thanks.

From the other side - one of the new non raku matcha bowls (sorry for the quality of this pic but I have sank my camera recently)

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best
andrzej
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Aug 3rd, '11, 14:47

I just forgot to say in my last post that I very like your black raku Nenugal. It looks realy beatiful.
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby Chip » Aug 3rd, '11, 14:54

Great comparison Nenugal! Thank you for sharing in much detail.

... gyokuro set will be on its way soon! :mrgreen:
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Aug 11th, '11, 13:58

Hi
It was a long time ago I could fire in a woodfiring kiln. I am happy to be back on that way:)
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h - 5,5 cm
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some more here http://aneybo.blogspot.com/2011/08/z-pieca.html
thanks&best
andrzej
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby iannon » Aug 11th, '11, 14:13

andrzej bero wrote:Hi
It was a long time ago I could fire in a woodfiring kiln. I am happy to be back on that way:)
thanks&best
andrzej


WOw..lovely pot! very classy lines
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby Chip » Aug 18th, '11, 13:55

TreasureHunt Treasure 4 by Andrzej of (almost) Electric Avenue. Another beautiful wan styled teacup. This has lots of character including the rim if you look closely.

Winner TBD and announced later!!! :twisted:

Image
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Re: Andrzej Bero - (almost) Electric Avenue

Postby andrzej bero » Sep 18th, '11, 16:59

hi,
some more matchawans I made lately for exhibition (my ceramics, ink paitings and fabrics of others) and a teatre of tea gathering.
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more details/shots here http://aneybo.blogspot.com/2011/09/koreanskie-inspiracje.html
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not me:) but my chawan
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best
andrzej

ps
thanks iannon for compliment
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Re: Andrzej Bero - Journey through the Mud

Postby Petr Novák » Sep 21st, '11, 15:12

Hi Andrzej,

I like those "korean" chawans. Thank you for sharing.

Can I ask you about those red marks?

Best
Petr
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Re: Andrzej Bero - Journey through the Mud

Postby andrzej bero » Sep 21st, '11, 20:04

Petr,
Thank you very much for your good words. I see we both have fondness for korean style. Making items for last exhibition with chanoyu I could not resist;)

"Red marks" come from red angobe (only one (?) comercial stuff I use) under the clear glaze.
best
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