Chip wrote:Wow, John, that is a very impressive chawan! You obviously used some very advanced techniques.
Thank you Chip. I should probably say " いえぜんぜん " here. (No, Zenzen).
Not really "advanced" .... just S...L....O....W. That process forces you to really consider the form..... particularly the interior. And in a Chawan for actual Chanoyu (my heavy area of focus at the moment), the interior aspect is extremely important.
The carving process has historical precedent in Japan for Chawan. It is certainly difficult...... but not insurmountable. It is very contemplative.
For this type of piece (I make this type of "flower" Chawan a lot) with that flower pattern, the big issue is the three-dimensionality of the impressions of the flower. I have to give them some variation in the depth of the impressions I make in the formed round clay "blank" to give the piece a sense of depth and movement on the outer surface.
But this creates the problem of dealing with the deeper impressions on the interior carving work as I hollow out the bowl. As I get near to the final form of the interior, it is very easy to carve right through the side walls where the flower impressions are at their deepest.
But Chawan generally need to be realtively light..... so the walls need to be thinned out as much as possible. So it is a game of tradeoffs here. I have to balance the thin-ness of the walls..... with the need to leave enough clay so that there are not HOLES in the walls
. It requires some treally delicate carving in the very last stafes of the hollowing out and final smoothing process.
These Chawan tend to be just a tad heavier than my other forms. Drives me nuts..... but I cannot seem to solve it. I think it might not BE solvable.
I screw up a number of them for every one that survives. That is just the way of the art. Hence the high cost of good chawan (mine and everyone else's who focuses on actual Chanoyu works)........ somehow you have to make up for all the work that goes into the ones that do not make it to actually reaching "Chawan-hood" after emerging from the fire.
I know of a potter in Japan that fires 125 Chawan a year. He keeps only 25 of those....... IF they are actually good coming out of the kiln. The rest are smashed.
Fired success rate for the really good Chawan is actually pretty low. Strandards are very high.