Nov 6th 17 5:34 pm
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Raku designation

by absence » Nov 6th 17 5:34 pm

I'm confused about the use of the Raku designation for Japanese tea bowls. I have a superficial understanding of the history (i.e. it's a 15 generation lineage of potterers dating back to the times of Rikyu and Hideyoshi), and thought that a tea bowl had to be made by the Raku family to be called Raku. Most new tea bowls for sale and advertised as Raku seem to be made by the Sasaki family at Shoraku, however. They are sold by reputable dealers who clearly state the source, so it's clearly not a fraud. Are they made on licence or something?

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Nov 6th 17 8:45 pm
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Re: Raku designation

by rdl » Nov 6th 17 8:45 pm

absence wrote: I'm confused about the use of the Raku designation for Japanese tea bowls. I have a superficial understanding of the history (i.e. it's a 15 generation lineage of potterers dating back to the times of Rikyu and Hideyoshi), and thought that a tea bowl had to be made by the Raku family to be called Raku. Most new tea bowls for sale and advertised as Raku seem to be made by the Sasaki family at Shoraku, however. They are sold by reputable dealers who clearly state the source, so it's clearly not a fraud. Are they made on licence or something?
Keeping this simple, there is the family, and there is Raku ware. Wikipedia gives a good overview.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raku_ware
The Sasaki family and other potters make authentic Raku ware, just as Western potters make an authentic Western Raku ware. The name has come to reflect a tradition of tea ware.

Nov 7th 17 12:51 pm
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Re: Raku designation

by absence » Nov 7th 17 12:51 pm

So as long as the technique invented by the Raku family is used, anyone can make authentic Raku ware?

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Nov 9th 17 2:23 am
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Re: Raku designation

by rdl » Nov 9th 17 2:23 am

absence wrote: So as long as the technique invented by the Raku family is used, anyone can make authentic Raku ware?
I am not familiar with any legalities of the Raku designation, but you are pretty much correct. Respecting tradition is very much part of the nature of tea ware, especially Raku. However, nothing is stagnant, and changes have happened over the centuries.