Chawan is a small bowl meant for preparing and drinking tea. But it’s also much more. It’s a about harmony, colour, hand-feel, and mastery of clay.
As The Japan Times puts it:
It has to be a well-balanced, pleasantly-weighted form that brings together all aspects of composition from the way the lip is angled, to the curves of the body and how that will influence the inner “pool,” all the way down to the underside where the kodai-foot is carved. (Some may say chawan aficionados have a kodai fetish, but more on that later.) Now this may all sound very easy, yet many potters have told me making a good chawan is the hardest thing in the world for them. Why? It’s the giving birth to the essence of materials and hopefully allowing technique to be forgotten, so that forming becomes like breathing, while spirit shines; only then will a chawan come to life.
Image via ModernSquirrel – a chawan by Tom Smith.