Part of our Song Kiln Collection, this tea bowl is inspired by the celadon ware of the Song Dynasty's Imperial Jian Kilns.
Like a galaxy between your palms, this impeccably rendered Song Dynasty Jian-style tea bowl is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece from nationally acclaimed Taiwanese ceramicist, Xu De Jia.
The bowl's shape and glaze are both inspired by traditional tianmu or "heaven's eye" tea bowls (also known as jianzhan): the favored tea vessel of the Song Dynasty. Since tea in this era was still consumed as powder (the precursor to modern-day matcha), these tea bowls provided an ideal dark background, enhancing the vibrant color of the powdered tea. However, tea bowls are certainly not limited to matcha brewing, and we find them one of the most intimate and enjoyable ways to prepare whole leaf, loose tea as well.
Originally crafted in Jianyang (just south of the Wuyi Mountains, in China's Fujian Province) from the Song Dynasty until the Ming Dynasty, Jian ware employed a unique iron-based glaze that, when fired at high temperature, produced the unique surface patterns for which this style is known.
This particular vessel (glazed in the classic "oil drop" style) is one of the most masterful examples of modern Jian ware that we've found; the pictures truly don't do it justice. Though appearing glossy black in most settings, the bowl is actually a deep midnight blue — a secret that only sunlight (or another bright light source) can reveal. Beyond its stunning color, producing Jian ware with such an evenly distributed "oil drop" pattern is a remarkable challenge. On our recent visit to Taiwan where we discovered this piece, Master Xu himself admitted that he would be hard-pressed to create another like it.
Beyond its instantly captivating beauty, this Jian Kiln Tea Bowl is wonderfully ergonomic, making it an absolute pleasure to use. A subtle indentation just below the bowl's thin rim conforms to one's lower lip, while the rounded walls, smooth glaze, and pleasant weight create a fantastic presence in the hands. Other details include a slight bevel above the foot and the artist's stamp on the underside of the bowl.
Only one available.
All volumes are measured to the brim. Functional volume may vary.
volume 13.5oz / 400ml • height 3" • diameter 5"
Using a tea bowl is one of the simplest ways to brew tea - Just add tea leaves, top with hot water, and wait for the leaves to sink to the bottom of the bowl as they re-hydrate. For best results, use a whole leaf tea with low tannin content.