Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?


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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby JBaymore » Jan 6th, '13, 10:52

David R. wrote:And yes, red here means oxidation baking.


David,

If you don't want to drive a huge portion of us potters nuts :wink: ...... please use the term "firing" (or for some even the term "burning") rather than "baking" for how we finish pots. :lol:

best,

.............john
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby GARCH » Jan 6th, '13, 11:40

JBaymore wrote:
David R. wrote:And yes, red here means oxidation baking.


David,

If you don't want to drive a huge portion of us potters nuts :wink: ...... please use the term "firing" (or for some even the term "burning") rather than "baking" for how we finish pots. :lol:

best,

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


Hi John,

Sorry to bother you but I would like to ask you a question regarding the 'pear skin' design of the tea pot since a Google search proved futile :? Akira-san told me that a 'pear skin' design refers to the white dots effect that I see in the clay, but as a potter how do you actually achieve that kind of effect? Are they like little 'crystals' interspersed in the clay naturally or added while forming the shape of the pot? Aesthetically is it significantly harder to make this kind of teapots?

Sorry for such an esoteric question. I tried the search function for 'pear skin' but not much information came up as well :?
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby Chip » Jan 6th, '13, 12:09

GARCH wrote:
Chip wrote:Tachi Masaki rough clay version of Shigaraki. Showing some age in variable darkening ...

And Chip thank you for the advice in brewing sencha as well as the photos! Is it normal for the clay to darken over time? It looks pretty cool though 8) Like a part of it is baked reduction style. Are you breaking it out to test it's effects on sencha again?? :lol:

I did brew an organic Oku Midori from O-Cha in it yesterday. It is hard to draw a conclusion since this was organic however. I will use it almost every day for a period and see what I think.

The darkening of this kyusu is ... unusual, but shows the porousity of this Shigaraki clay. It is however not unusual for Kyusu to develop a patina of some kind. Each kyusu/clay is different, however.

David R. wrote:Very nice pot ! Don't refrain from anything and use it gladly. Brewing different kinds of tea in it won't kill your teapot. Worst case scenario, there are means to "reset" your pot. But one should not refrain from using a pot he/she loves. :wink:

Wellll, yes and no. For the short term you can experiment, but for now perhaps avoid any tea that is toasty, roasty, and definitely not scented in any way. Avoid any "grain teas."

Considering your investment in the kyusu, I would suggest finding the family of teas you want to "dedicate it" to fairly quickly.

I say this from personal experience having had a Tokoname pot that I brewed any and all greens and oolongs in. Eventually the kyusu could not brew a straight flavor, everything I brewed in it had a "hybrid" mish-mash flavor and aroma that was not to my liking ... I want to taste and smell the tea I am drinking.

This was before the days of being able to get advice from places like TeaChat about resetting, etc.
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby JBaymore » Jan 6th, '13, 12:49

GARCH wrote:Hi John,

Sorry to bother you but I would like to ask you a question regarding the 'pear skin' design of the tea pot since a Google search proved futile :? Akira-san told me that a 'pear skin' design refers to the white dots effect that I see in the clay, but as a potter how do you actually achieve that kind of effect? Are they like little 'crystals' interspersed in the clay naturally or added while forming the shape of the pot? Aesthetically is it significantly harder to make this kind of teapots?

Sorry for such an esoteric question. I tried the search function for 'pear skin' but not much information came up as well :?


From your description I think you are refering to something called richi-hada..... "pear skin". I'd need to see a picture to be sure of exactly what we are talking about. In different regions of Japan, different potters sometimes use similar terms to describe different effects. So terminology can be difficult sometimes.

Are you talking about the texture sometimes found on the glazed portion of the underside and kodai (foot area) of a chawan (teabowl) that is composed of the glaze? Or are you talking about the character of the clay body itself... little white flecks evenly disbursed IN the clay itself?

For the glaze effect.......

Certain clay bodies, when trimmed when that are "leather hard" (sort of the consistency of cheddar cheeze), cause the grain structure of the particles of clay to be exposed, as opposed to the smoother clay surfaces exhibited from forming methods like the throwing process. When certain types of glazes with a high molten surface tension are then applied over these trimmed surfaces... in the kiln the glaze pulls back in the firing into little "blobs"...... that produce a pleasant texture.

This is simple to get in one sense... and very hard to get to happen WELL.

It is a balancing act between the nature of the clay body, the timing of the trimming (and the tools used), the nature of the glaze formulated, and the application of the glaze in just the correct thickness.

For the "in the claybody" idea.......

It can be small pieces of "rocks" of either feldspar or flint. In the case of the feldspar, the little white spots are softer and melted and rounded. For the flint, they will be harder edged and more rock-like in quality. This effect is not all that commonly and broadly called richi hada.

best,

.............john
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby GARCH » Jan 6th, '13, 13:24

JBaymore wrote:For the "in the claybody" idea.......

It can be small pieces of "rocks" of either feldspar or flint. In the case of the feldspar, the little white spots are softer and melted and rounded. For the flint, they will be harder edged and more rock-like in quality. This effect is not all that commonly and broadly called richi hada.


Thank you for your reply john! I've attached a photo I received from Hojo and I'm not sure if you can see clearly what I meant :? I have no idea if they are feldspar or flint judging from the picture though. The white specks are what attracted me to this pot in the first place :D

Chip wrote:Wellll, yes and no. For the short term you can experiment, but for now perhaps avoid any tea that is toasty, roasty, and definitely not scented in any way. Avoid any "grain teas."

Considering your investment in the kyusu, I would suggest finding the family of teas you want to "dedicate it" to fairly quickly.


Thanks for the great advice as usual Chip :) it's sincerely appreciated! I'm guessing I will probably use it for sencha brewing as originally planned, it's a japanese kyusu anyway! And my preference tends heavily towards japanese greens :P
But I might try one or two sessions of oolong during it's early phases of use to see what impact it has on taste :D I will probably try to get a gaiwan to act as a control group for all my taste experiments. AND start a taste log with what little knowledge I have of teas and tasting them :oops:
All this is to my liking, it's like going over the whole brewing parameters experiment when I first started with single origin coffee :D trying to isolate variables and find out which impacts/improves the whole experience the most ~

How do you actually 'reset' a kyusu anyway? I would think it's something along the lines of soaking it in boiling water? Or lightly scrub the insides with baking soda?
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby blairswhitaker » Jan 7th, '13, 04:08

is this a pot you ordered? I fell like I read that these pots were made from a naturally occurring clay, even if that is the case it does not exclude processing techniques that involve additions. like john said you can usually tell by the surface feeling. smoother "bumps" most likely feldspar. more "rocky" texture more likely flint. then there is "grog" this can be anywhere from fine and grainy to big and chunky.
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby David R. » Jan 7th, '13, 07:43

JBaymore wrote:
David R. wrote:And yes, red here means oxidation baking.


David,

If you don't want to drive a huge portion of us potters nuts :wink: ...... please use the term "firing" (or for some even the term "burning") rather than "baking" for how we finish pots. :lol:

best,

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


We would not want that, do we ? :lol: I'll be careful in the future. Thanks John.
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby GARCH » Jan 7th, '13, 10:46

blairswhitaker wrote:is this a pot you ordered? I fell like I read that these pots were made from a naturally occurring clay, even if that is the case it does not exclude processing techniques that involve additions. like john said you can usually tell by the surface feeling. smoother "bumps" most likely feldspar. more "rocky" texture more likely flint. then there is "grog" this can be anywhere from fine and grainy to big and chunky.



Yep that is the pot I ordered! The picture is from Hojo though. I'll take a few pics and share with you guys once the pot arrives in a couple of days time :D
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Re: Shigaraki or Tokoname Natural Red clay from Hojo?

Postby Teaism » Jan 12th, '13, 02:51

Congratulations! That is a great pot. Use it more often and watch the color change and the pot glow. You will love it even more.

Next step is to go for the Shigaraki. I own both the smooth and coarse Shigaraki and personally I find them very down to earth with zen feel when I brew tea with them.
More poetic than utilitarian.
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