I got this pair of pots recently, and haven’t had a chance to use them, clean them, or do anything with them yet. They’re an intriguing pair, because of the clay, and the work. As my regular readers would know, I normally prefer pots that are on the rough side, that show the artisan’s workmanship, and sometimes, of previous owners’ attachment to them. This pair, like many of my other pots, show another interesting thing: uneven use over time.
The one on the left has received far more attention from its previous owner than the one on the right, which, although having some stains, is really quite lightly used. As a result, you can see, much more clearly, the shrink lines on the left pot. It is even more obvious when you lift the lid, and see inside – the interior of the left one is far, far darker than the right one, which only has a light dusting of tea patina. It’s not obvious to me why the previous owner preferred one to the other, although I suppose one gets used to a certain pot and just keeps using it. I suspect that if I were to use these, I might end up doing the same.
I guess what interests me, at the end of the day, with these pots is that each one, in its own way, seems to tell a story. At least, I can imagine a story being told by them, which is why I like them over pots that are new and perfect – in those cases, the pots lose their personality and become a mere vessel in which to brew tea. These two pots are imperfectly fired – there are air bubbles on the interior of the pot, but since they’ve been subjected to frequent use, I’m going to assume that things were just fine. Care, such as warming the pots slowly, must of course still be exercised.