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和菓子盤−與山本夏(宗夏庵)的合作 Wagashi Serving Plates — Collaboration with Yamamoto Natsu(SOKA'AN)

[English version in below]







When Natsu told me about the Japanese wagashi serving plate, she gifted me a pack of Kaishi paper for reference and folded it to show me how it looks when used. The folded paper looks so beautiful. She went on to tell me that normally everyone would bring their own Kaishi paper to a tea ceremony, but if it was their first time, they would probably not bring one with them, so she wanted to order some pottery ones from me for the guests to use. When I heard about this item, I immediately thought of a kind of paper clay and suggested that I could use it to make these wagashi plates.

During the production process, it can be observed that there are long fibers in the paper clay, which has the super ability to be bonded with water even when it is completely dry. It can be made very thin, can be folded in half without much cracking, and it is said that it can also be directly colored and then fired. Even when it was waiting to dry, it was just like paper. It would wrinkle when it dried. This bothered me a little, I made more than a dozen and the whole batch went recycling. But then I had an idea, I thought of the Japanese paper craftsmen broadcast on NHK used super heavy objects to press the paper while drying, so I followed the similar procedure until they were completely dry. In the end, it turned out to be extremely flat. I was a little proud about it.

Probably because there are paper fibers in the clay, although the finished product looks fragile, the structure seems to be very strong. You can feel this from the polishing process which is quite time-consuming. Just using sandpaper will not do much. You have to use an electric tool to smooth the raised particles to a smooth level.

Only the four corners are slightly raised, the simple and restrained shape and glaze color do not seem to utilize the magical power of this paper clay to the extent that it can be seen through at a glance. This is the spirit of the tea ceremony that I feel from Natsu. On the one hand, there is an attention to the practicality of tableware, and visually allowing space to match the beautiful and diverse shapes of wagashi. And finally, it is convenient for users to hold from tatami and stack for storage.

As for the glaze color, there were several colors that I offered Natsu to choose from, and the color she finally chose was indeed simple and gentle. Applying with a brush is quite easy (laughs), but at the same time it is not very easy to master. I had to take detailed notes and write down whether to apply it twice, three times, etc., but each one still looks different. I particularly like the change in thickness of the transparent glaze, which creates different effects where it is accumulated.

After writing this, I feel that I can use this soil to develop many different utensils in the future.

⟨ 交迭 Interweaving: From Kiln to Cup ⟩

翁宜襄茶道具展 Yvonne Weng’s Tea Utensil Exhibition

茶の湯 SOKA’AN Tea Ceremony | By Reservation

展覽日期 | 2023.12.2–12.15

展出空間 | 宗夏庵 SOKA’AN


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