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Brown Bag Talk | The Teabowl: East & West

  • The Clay Studio 137 North 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA, 19106 United States (map)

Bonnie Kemske, former Guest Artist, will be at The Clay Studio to give a lunchtime talk about her new book, The Teabowl: East & West. The book looks at the context of the iconic teabowl form as it arose in chanoyu, or Japanese tea ceremony, its changes throughout Japanese ceramics history, and how 20th and 21st century studio ceramicists have appropriated the form, bringing it into the cultural world of Europe and the Americas. It explores the mystique of the teabowl and the concepts that have contributed to the teabowl aesthetic, such as wabi and the influence of Zen Buddhism. Kemske will also talk about the techniques that have shaped it, such as wood-firing, raku, and kintsugi (traditional ‘gold’ repair), and the influence that non-traditional and global techniques have brought to bear on the teabowl, such as salt-glazing, contemporary graphic decoration, California raku, humor, and subversion. The book developed out of the author's personal experience as a potter, writer, and student of chanoyu. It is a result of a long-standing interest in teabowls, which was deepened by gaining a PhD in ceramics from the Royal College of Art, three years as Editor of the international magazine Ceramic Review, the publication of many feature articles, reviews, and academic papers, and curating an exhibition of contemporary teabowls at the Embassy of Japan in London.