Secret Teatime:Tea Bowl Making


       In October I went over to Secret Teatime’s studio in Scarborough. I had signed up for their fall Chawan workshop and was eager to try my had my ceramics. We started with an overview of the history of tea ceremony up till present day and covered the shapes of a tea bowl. Helen treated us to seeing her perform
       It was another great Saturday with Secret Teatime. Our group each made a chawan (tea bowl) the first day. Before we met the next Saturday, Helen and Sorlie glazed and fired the works. They were then presented to us during tea ceremony.
      For the first section we had usucha (thin tea). It was very interesting to see the difference between Urasenke and Omotesenke, the latter being what Helen was using. The biggest for me is the “snapping” of the fukusa before folding. The whole style was beautiful and had little intentional sounds that were absent from Urasenke.
        Back to our bowls, I was very pleased with how my chawan turned out with the glaze I choose. I depicted a buddhist flame on the shoumen (front of the bowl) and a fox inside it. I choose these two symbols as I find them together in images from shrines in Japan. Also, Inari’s symbol is a fox. To me these fit together and worked very well as a piece.
       As Sado is a life long learning process and I have been enjoying practice with the new piece. I enjoyed my time at the studio and the company of Helen, and Sorlie.

       If you were to make a chawan what would it look like? Would you use any imagery? There are so many possibilities out there, What would you do? -KAT

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Grant Writing: writing process thoughts and tea

It is often hard to write about my own work, art I mean. For over three years I have been playing with  in my work. Tea and art have been two parts of a whole for me since reading Kakuzo Okakura’s The Book of Tea. He has a whole chapter how one effected the other and in turn effected history itself. The Boston Tea Party in 1846 was due to the rise in taxes on tea, which was effected by the Opium War which was caused by a feud between the Chinese and British. Over Tea, to be specific they were selling Opium for gold, to then buy tea and …Tea ware.
    What I am getting at is that these two should be together in any way they can. These grants I am writing have provoked a mind block, which got resolved after a few sessions of  tea. While drinking my Feng Huang Shan Gan 2007,I was then stuck with the idea to look up gender equality in tea producing countries. They are almost on par, each one views women as lower than men. This got me thinking that I could work with this.
   My original work from OCAD worked with gender, bodies and identity. As I began to add tea I got further and further away from this. Till recently, my self-portrait is a good identification that I am ready to go back. Although not without some new ideas and skills with tea. 
   I mentioned many times over at Split/Gender (my former art only blog, which was all transferred here) I mentioned making notes on the hues achieved with tea. I started this process and it will be useful for my grant work. The “blue” or “indigo” on my self-portrait was made with berry/hibiscus based infusions. It started out purple and turned this colour. I hope to find a way to preserve this colour in the future but for now I need to work with it. Till next time, Keep Steepin’ on!

New work and submission deadlines

Over the next little while I have 2 submission deadlines comming up. The first is for an OCAD University Alimni show next spring and the second is a full proposal for Xspace (OCAD U associated gallery). Slightly overwelming how much needs to be done but do-able.

      If any of you follow my Facebook fan page you are aware of the new work sitting around. Tea infused with a but of a watercolourist feel to them, some small meditations on tea and dao. I hope this medative series continues for quite some time. In addition my knitted series is in the planning stages of a continuation. Alot is going on. Updates may only occur once every two weeks unless there is enough to update earlier. I am organizeing my time for my art and Japanese study. Hopefully what I have learned ends up in my work.

Grad Exhibition- Saturday


So this is where I have ended up. Cards are up, the works look great (although I’m wondering If I should have had matted them) and the show is coming to an end tomorrow. On the side I have continued to work on this series in my own studio. Experimenting with application and letting the ink be ink, not controllable pigment. I am hoping to put together a proper website soon and have it launched before September.
If you happen to come here after seeing the Graduate Show, I thank you for taking the time to see everyone’s work and to visit this page. If you would like to see more of my work I can show you my portfolio in person or online. Ink is my current obsession but I also work in Acrylic, Oil , Graphite, Watercolour and Charcoal.
Please excuse the warning which came up before reaching this page, it is for you that I have decided to place the warning as my work tends to dip into the explicit at times.
If you have any questions I can be reached at bellmanart@gmail.com at any time. And I will be around on Sunday to answer any questions in person. Again thank you.

Pieces shown:
“Spot” 2010
Ink on paper. 18″ x 18″

“Hold” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″x 18″

“Hug” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″ x 18″

“Choo” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″ x 18″

“Nervous” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″ x 18″

“Mine” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″ x 18″

“Held” 2010
Ink on paper, 18″ x 18″