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Oct 13th 14 7:27 pm
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California Tea Ware Market

by Mitch Iburg Ceramics » Oct 13th 14 7:27 pm

Good afternoon everyone.

I'm beginning a series of work made from local California clays and I'm looking to find a venue for sharing these works with California residents and consumers. Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for finding west coast galleries or other venues that are 'tea friendly?' While I understand this is an immensely broad question, I'm looking to refine this search to locate individuals interested in contemporary tea ware (yunomi, chawan) for its function as an art form as well as utilitarian object.

Also, I would be interested to hear if anyone else is pursuing the same search.

thanks everyone
Mitch

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Oct 14th 14 2:22 am
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by Chip » Oct 14th 14 2:22 am

Hi Mitch.

I am moving this topic to Teaware and Accessories forum of TeaChat. It will reach a broader readership there but also the TeawareArtisan forum is defined as one topic per Teaware Artisan. :mrgreen:

I am leaving a "shadow topic" here (TeawareArtisan) temporarily.

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Oct 15th 14 1:56 pm
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by Fuut » Oct 15th 14 1:56 pm

Hi, welcome.

I'm not from the US so i can't help you out specificly, but i think a google search for vendors overthere could help you out. The ones that sell it are probably looking for new stuff too. Contact the site admin and ask around might show a lead! :roll:

Oct 15th 14 10:46 pm
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by Cwyn » Oct 15th 14 10:46 pm

I think starting on Etsy online is a must, whether or not you seek brick-and -mortar vendors as well. Tea caddies and storage jars tend to be hard to find.

California clay holds a great deal of promise for tea storage. I have experimented with Califonia vintage stoneware for tea storage. The heavier glazed pieces from the 1960's California clays work best for my Midwestern storage of fermented tea. Lighter glazes, such as those used by Edith Heath in Saucelito do not create enough of a micro climate for fermented tea in a drier climate. But they might be okay in a damp climate, and for dry, loose leaf teas a light glaze is excellent.

Heath designs tend to be based on Arts and Crafts architecture, and Heath sells very well and is considered high end boutique. Their work is definitely a good reference point for what is going on with California clay. I regularly see home design blog photos with collections of tea jars fm Heath, they produce seasonal color and design palates each year and stuff sells out. Their recent collaboration with the clothing workshop Alabama Chanin intended to produce designs combining rough, organic textiles into clay work. The resulting collection is ghastly pricey and difficult to keep in stock, but stunning. I tend to buy vintage Heath but if I had the cash, I'd buy the new stuff too.

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Oct 16th 14 1:43 am
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Oct 16th 14 1:43 am

Mitch,

I'm curious if the Urasenke Foundation in S.F. (http://www.urasenke.org) would be interested in hosting your work. They are committed to tea and the teaware would be in, likely, good company with the many, various pieces of teaware employed by the foundation during its times of tea practice.

Also, I have really enjoyed the time I've spent at Teance in Berkeley, Ca. They have wonderful tea, are very friendly, have a devoted following of tea drinkers, and have shelf space within the venue. I've attended tea sommelier events there wherein sommeliers from the wine and beer worlds have been invited to come, taste, and reflect with guests on the various nuances of flavor and sense in some very rare teas. They hold some interesting gatherings. (http://www.teance.com)

In some ways, Song Tea and Ceramics in S.F. could be a cool venue, but the space is not really a tea drinking space, though they do have a tasting table. They do however stock artisan teaware, primarily Taiwanese and some nice, genuine Yixing pieces. However their focus is on developing commercial accounts; though, again one can purchase and taste their teas in the shop. They are connected to Red Blossom and I wonder if Red Blossom would be interested in showcasing a few pieces. Red Blossom sees a lot of foot traffic in Chinatown but it is also a very small space. (http://www.songtea.com)/(http://www.redblossomtea.com)

My parents have a home in Timbercove, not far from Gualala. I wonder if the art center there, with the rich art community surrounding them in the nearby Redwoods, would be able or willing to support the work being displayed.

I have not yet been into Asha Tea House, but perhaps they could be a venue as well. The space doesn't really look like they have a space for display though.

I know the Nelson Gallery in Davis, Ca. has some great ceramic shows and there is a movement to start a cultural tea study center at U.C. Davis developing under Katherine Burnett of the art department.

My wife is an amateur potter and I'll check with her if she has any suggestions.

In May 2013 Czech potter Petr Novak held a show with his partner Mirka that was really beautiful, all tea related. It would be great to have such a space and presentation: (https://plus.google.com/photos/11823621 ... banner=pwa).

Blessings!

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Oct 16th 14 4:39 am
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by debunix » Oct 16th 14 4:39 am

Cwyn wrote:I think starting on Etsy online is a must, whether or not you seek brick-and -mortar vendors as well. Tea caddies and storage jars tend to be hard to find.
Etsy store already in place. :wink:

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Nov 8th 14 3:38 pm
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by braille » Nov 8th 14 3:38 pm

Far Leaves in Berkeley has a lot of space, is REALLY chill, and definitely has community-minded events etc. I would talk to Song Tea -- whether they end up carrying you or not, they might have some great ideas. A friend of theirs, David, is re-opening a more Japanese tea-shop soon... Couldn't hurt to ask if he's looking for CA-stuff. https://www.facebook.com/Rojitea.sf

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Nov 8th 14 3:41 pm
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by braille » Nov 8th 14 3:41 pm

just checked your website... I assume you know Nick Schwartz? :D

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Nov 16th 14 6:25 pm
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Re: California Tea Ware Market

by Mitch Iburg Ceramics » Nov 16th 14 6:25 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I do know Nick actually. I'm thankful for the upcoming opportunity to fire with him and his group this next week.