Ways of Tea
10th - 31st August, 2010


To hold a Masakazu Kusakabe teabowl is to hold the quintessential spirit of the universe in your hands. The thick, porous oribe glaze of the vessel feels warm to the touch while the curves and crevices of your palms and fingers comfortably rest around the uneven walls of the bowl. The green and black glaze and vessel shape transmit the intensity and energy of the artist. You may also hold a teabowl with wood ash glaze that embodies its chance encounter with ash that resulted in variegated shiny and matte surfaces on the vessel walls that resemble the heaven filled with stars (Slide 1). Kusakabe imbues his ceramic vessels and tea ceremonial wares with his love of nature, his interest in astronomy, and his deep spirituality.

Kusakabe is an admired master potter and kiln builder from Japan. People from all parts of the world gather at his studio, a converted 100 years old folk house to admire his ceramics, to write poetry and to see the stars from his small observatory. On a visit to his studios or to one of his American workshops, he may conduct an “informal” tea ceremony, which at first may appear to be an oxymoron. Though he has been formally trained to perform the tea ceremony, when he is in America, he is concerned with the essence of the tea ceremony, the spirit and exchange of friendship and eschews a strict formal setting for a casual more playful one. Sharing tea with Kusakabe means opening the heart and mind to the beauty of nature and the sharing of common humanity.

Masaazu Kusakabe is the author of "Japanese Wood Fired Ceramics", a recent book investigating the different types of kilns, firings and effects available to wood-firers.

Further information about this evant from Steve Mattison,

Kusakabe's website:

informatio: Kormos Emese:

International Ceramics Studio
H-6000 Kecskemét, Kápolna u.11, Hungary
tel: +36 76 486 867