Manten Tomatsu Tenmoku Chawan

Potter: Tomatsu Manten

Approximate size: W4.1″ by H3.6″ or 10.5 by 9.1 cm

Located in Gifu prefecture sits the Manten Kiln, managed by Manten Tomatsu. The Manten kiln takes pride in its Tenmoku techniques, using years of experience to create distinctive hand-crafted items with original identities. This potter specializes in the tenmoku glaze technique and this drippy tea bowl is an excellent example of his craftsmanship.

Tenmoku is the name given to a glaze made primarily of feldspar, limestone and over 5% iron oxide content. The varieties of Tenmoku are endless with colour and finish affected by the ratio of ingredients, firing and cooling times.

1940 Born in Oroshi-cho, Toki City, Gifu prefecture
1959 Graduated from Gifu Prefecture’s Tajimi Technical High School Design Department
1968 Selected 5 times since the first entering various ceramic competition
1976 Receives the Asahi Ceramic Award at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
1977 Receives the Asahi Ceramic Award at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition
2000 Receives Mino Ceramics Shoroku Award at the Tea Cup Exhibition
2002 Receives the 20th Koubei Award

The featured chawan has a rich, glossy dark brown sheen with incredible depth. This impression is further heightened when filled, the small pinpricks in the glaze seeming to glisten, drawing the eye further and further in. The transition from the lighter band of tan around the rim to the darker tone of the body is also alive with fluid patterns which provide a wealth of fodder for the imagination.

“Tenmoku (天目, also spelled “temmoku” and “temoku”), is a type of Japanese pottery and porcelain that originates in imitating Chinese stoneware Jian ware (建盏), of the southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), original examples of which are also called tenmoku in Japan”.

Even after the move from the Shoin Karamono style of tea ceremony to the Wabicha Soan style, there was still a place for Tenmoku tea bowls, alongside other East Asian and native Japanese works.

The chawan has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with the original stamped tomonuno (tea-cloth), summation paper with the history of the potter and his work and high quality paulownia shiho-san tomobako (box), with calligraphy and stamp of authenticity.


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