Kusakabe-san and Marc Lancet at Trax Gallery

On May 9th, the day after I arrived from Japan, Kusakabe-san and Marc Lancet opened their show at the Trax Gallery in Berkeley, California.
http://www.traxgallery.com/ Before the opening reception they held a Tea Ceremony workshop.

The participants made their walk to the ceremony in the backyard by first passing a water basin to wash their hands for cleansing and purification. The garden around an official Japanese teahouse has a special design and architecture of trees and scrubs and a stone path meanders through the garden before you arrive at the water basin.
1) Water basin

Kusakabe-san writes a greeting for the tea ceremony. In a teahouse you have a “Tokoname” alcove in which they have a scroll “takemono” hanging on the wall and a vase with a simple flower arrangement and an art object to admire.
2) Welcomegreeting_1

4) Teaceremony_1

Before pouring water in the “Chawan” with a ladle, Kusakabe-san puts in the matcha powder for the tea. Then he whips it up with a wisk.

5) Teaceremony_2

On the table you see a simple flower arrangement from different grasses and one flower, a “Chaire”, tea caddy for the matcha tea and a “Mizusasashi”, water container.

3) Marc explaining Kiri box_1

Marc talks about the “Kiri” box, a container to put the wrapped chawan in. They had special boxes made for this show from cedar and they smelled wonderfully.

The exposition of Mazakazu Kusakabe-san and Marc Lancet.
Their pieces are fired in a wood-fired kiln. They are both experts in wood firing. Kusakabe-san is a master in designing kilns, especially at the moment the “Sasukenei” smokeless kiln. Please, see my former blogs and category of Kusakabe-san and kilns, and smokeless kiln.

6) Trax Gallery_1

7) Trax Gallery_2

8) Trax Gallery_3

9) Trax Gallery_4

Horsehair vessel in the Japanese magazine “Nagomi”

Aoyama-san from the Yufuku Gallery in Tokyo showed me an article in the Japanese “Nagomi” magazine, when I visited him last week. The magazine is all about tea and the May no.5 edition is about walking around Tokyo Galleries to look for objects to be used for a tea ceremony.

Aoyama-san introduces Japanese artists overseas and international artists to Japan. And as a tea master he looks around the world for items to be used for the tea ceremony. And that is when he acquired my Horsehair Vessel for use as a “Mizusashi”, a water jar, containing fresh water symbolizing purity and is touched only by the host of the ceremony. During the ceremony the tea master will take water out of this vessel with a scoop and pour it in the kettle heated by a fire.

Article Yufuku Horsehair_1

The article and Aoyama-san. My Horsehair Mizusashi is on the stand.


Aoyama-san made a black lacquer lid “futa” for the mizusashi.