Kiyomizu ware; usurai cup/wide mouth tea cup


Delicate work on materials is the result of marvelous techniques by a potter of Kiyomizu ware.

Kiyomizu ware is one of Kyoto's famous crafts since ancient times. The characteristics of this ware are in its delicate work as it has been offered as tributes.

A container, if it is Kiyomizu ware, is to be produced with delicate work on the materials. In other words, it should be thin and light. This ultra thin cup is like thin ice as the result of marvelous techniques by a potter of Kiyomizu ware.

After wheel throwing, the cup is trimmed on and on. However, it is impossible for a potter to measure the trimming condition perfectly with only the hands and eyes. Therefore, the trimming is done after the surroundings become quiet at night.

Relying on how the trimming sounds to his ears, he trims it to be finished as thin as possible. Firing after the trimming and drying processes requires caution, too.

The cup is so thin that it cannot support its own weight during firing if placed as usual, which results in sagging and hanging at the mouth of the cup.

Therefore, firing is done with the cup placed upside down, in other words, with the foot upwards. Though this measure keeps the shape of the mouth, more than half of the cups will still deform elliptically. This ware does not have a high success rate for production by any means.

Like a high-class handmade wine glass, the thinner the lip of the cup, the better you can distinctively feel the original taste of tea or sake.

In addition, you can enjoy seeing the color of the tea through the cup when tea is poured into it.