Product: Oribe-Style Stoneware Chawan (Tea Bowl)
This handmade, wheel-thrown stoneware “chawan” or “tea bowl” was fired in an electric kiln to 2350°F. It features a clear and green glaze combination with iron oxide underpainting. This is known as Oribe-style. The decoration goes all the way around the bowl.
This style of tea bowl is “closed” with straight up and down walls, as opposed to the “open” style with outwardly sloping walls.
Please note: This bowl is one of my more “sturdy” tea bowls. In other words, it’s a bit heavy.
Click Here to Visit: Guerrero Ceramics Shop on Etsy
You may have noticed that I’ve been reviewing a lot of Matcha lately. Well, that’s because Red Leaf Tea has this amazing offer. Free Matcha? For doing what I do anyway? OK… you’ve got me!
Also, I have noticed that after a few weeks of drinking Matcha on a daily basis, I FEEL better. I have more energy, I feel less sluggish. So, I’m going to try to incorporate Matcha into my daily tea routine, having some every day, rather than once or twice a week like I used to.
A couple of weeks ago, while cleaning my favorite (and only usable) chawan, I accidentally dropped it in the sink and it cracked. (My other chawan was raku fired, and so I wasn’t entirely sure that it was safe to use. It’s gorgeous, but, I was no longer comfortable using it as I feared it might be unsafe)
I was so sad. I loved that chawan. I started using porcelain cereal bowls until I could find a satisfactory replacement. The bowls worked just fine, but they were thinner and lighter in weight than my chawan and I really like the heavier feel of a chawan that was crafted on a pottery wheel.
The temporary bowls just weren’t the same, and it affected my tea experience. Whether I was ready to admit it or not, the simple fact is that the vessel has a little something to do with the enjoyment of the product. That is to say, it matters. The bowl (or cup, when drinking other teas) makes a difference to me, at least mentally. The vessel that I drink from affects the overall experience.
So finally, I decided I HAD to get myself a chawan. I knew that I wanted to purchase the chawan direct from an artisan, because as an artist myself, I like to support other artists with my shopping. I try to avoid purchasing from the big corporations whenever I can, preferring smaller shops and when it comes to products like chawans, I want something handmade and direct from the artist.
After a bit of shopping around, I finally settled on this beautiful chawan from Guerrero Ceramics on Etsy. There are a lot of really gorgeous chawans on Etsy… but the reason I finally chose this one is simply: the seller was nice. I had written to him – admittedly about another bowl which was smaller and was intended to serve as more of a tea cup rather than a Matcha bowl – and he responded promptly and was very nice. He provided me a direct link to his Matcha bowls and while I didn’t see anything that piqued my interest right away, about a week later, I revisited his site and found this beautiful Oribe-Style Chawan.
The Chawan arrived very quickly, and was packaged wonderfully! I’m a sucker for packaging, and I think that when a seller takes the time to put some thought into the way they package your purchase for shipment says a lot about the seller. The chawan came in a postal box, and tucked inside the box, wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap, was a gift box that bore the Guerrero Ceramics stamp, and inside the box, layered with more bubble wrap, was my wrapped chawan. Now, when I say “wrapped” I don’t just mean bubble wrap. Mr. Guerrero took the time to wrap the chawan in a bright yellow fabric – Japanese furoshiki style!
As for the chawan: I just love it! It is a bit larger than my previous chawans, almost the size of a typical cereal bowl. But I actually prefer this size to my smaller chawans because it allows me ample room to whisk without sloshing any of the Matcha out of the bowl in the process. It also allows me to double up on the amount of Matcha I prepare … because, I’ve found that with my smaller bowls, the Matcha just disappears way too quickly! To put it simply, bigger bowl = MORE MATCHA!
If you find yourself in need of a new chawan, please, consider shopping handmade! We artists need and cherish the support, and you won’t find a nicer artist than Jeff Guerrero from Guerrero Ceramics!