Monday, September 5, 2011
Appreciation & Wear of Kim Kyoung Soo's Grey and White Style: The Teapot
Hot water passes from the cooling bowl into the empty teapot to warm it, preparing it for leaves. Water rests in there briefly then is poured into the serving pot. The leaves are then added and, in time, cooled water embraces these leaves...
The knob of the lid feels glossy and smooth between the fingers. The side walls of the lid show the wear of the original clay and its constant interaction with liquid tea which has approached to close to the rim of the teapot.
The form of this grey and white teapot is simple enough not to be pretentious. The comfortable flat looped handle on the far end feels like shaking an old friends hand. It hugs one's slightly large fingers nicely. A cloudy white blotch adorns the handle. It acts to remind those preparing tea of the light hand, like that of a floating cloud, required to make a good pot of tea. Where the handle connects with the body of the pot there is some slight staining contrasting the white cloudy blotch nicely. Underneath the handle rests a somewhat hidden chop of Kim Kyoung Soo- the only one on this piece.
The spout at the other end of the pot sufficiently balances the handle, if not stretching your vision more to that end anyways. This slight emphasis is deliberate as energetics and concentration flow out this spout along with freshly infused tea liquor. The end of the spout is ridged so as to liberate the last drops of tea from the teapot- a patient but necessary moment in every pour. Done to ensure that no water is left over the delicate tea leaves.
The most stunning aspect of this pot's wear is the rustic-earthy staining that has occurred from the last drips of tea clinging to this spout, refusing to depart from its home. It forms an orange-brown stripe that makes its way from the tip to the exposed clay circle at the bottom of the pot's base. Its raw nature is appreciated. The exposed clay is at the very bottom of this pot, grounding it- a reminder of the earth it has come from.
The sides of the pot sport the ancient pictographs for moon and wind, yin and yang. These pictographs balance and remind us of the connection of nature to the process of steeping tea. The shinny grey sides of the pot are marked with some beautiful dimpling allowing the pot to take an extra deep breath while holding tea leaves and warm water inside. There is noted staining around the pots rim as well.
Peaking inside the pot, you can see a large white blob of glaze- the most bold marking on the pot. It is left for the leaves and water to enjoy or perhaps the keen and patient observer before and after the tea has been prepared. The crackling of the white blob is a measure of all the tea that has passed through this pot, passed through this mind.