Tea Pottery @ Siam Tea Shop
Developing a tea pottery line initially proved to be one of the biggest challenges since establishing Siam Tea Shop. What to offer that would meet my requirements both in terms of quality and of individuality? Cheap industrial products that would sell through nice superficial appearance? For god’s sake, no! Much rather, I finally decided on the precise opposite… Individual, 100% handcrafted pottery artworks, created according to my specifications, in functional orientation at the essential elements of tea preparation.
SiamTeas Signature Tea Pottery 1.0
One day, during my research, I came across the website of a Belgium-based pottery master specializing in Chinese and Japanese tea pottery. What I saw there, especially the artist’s unglazed works, enthused me right on the spot… And inspired me to the idea of a – “Signature” – tea ceramics line of my own at Siam Tea Shop. This way, I would not only achieve the targeted quality level, but also secure the highest possible degree of individuality. Plus, I made sure that no industrial processes were involved in the production of my tea ceramics products and all items would be 100% handcrafted. What a great thought … And here was the opportunity to implement it!
Unfortunately, the resulting SiamTeas Signature tea pottery line was to exist for little more than a year only. Spoiled by success, “my” pottery master decided to turn her back on commissioned work in favor of more lucrative projects. And thus also to our cooperation...
The SiamTeas Signature Tea Pottery 2.0
Well, as the saying goes, every end is a new beginning… After talking to more than two dozen pottery masters and workshops in Europe, China and the USA, a new collaboration partner was finally found. And shortly thereafter, the new line was ready for take-off! Just like before, all items are made to my design specifications. However, the line’s new potter creator, Mrs. Katja Junker from St. Wendel, Saar, also leaves her own imprint on the items, in particular through the specific clay that she uses.
The SiamTeas Signature Shiboridashi 100ml, unglazed
The “shiboridashi” or “shibo” is a tea making vessel that is typical for Japan. While at first sight resembling a Chinese “gaiwan”, the shiboridashi has a set of characteristics of its own. For example, unlike the Gaiwan, it serves only for the preparation of tea and not as a drinking vessel. Therefore, it has a spout for pouring the tea into the drinking vessel. And this comes with an integrated strainer, consisting of several grooves in the pouring channel.
In Japan – naturally – the Shiboridashi is preferably used for the preparation of Japanese green teas. Nevertheless, it is also suitable for preparing other types of tea. This especially applies to preparing oolong teas across a series of infusions, and to white teas.
Like the line’s other elements, the Signature Shiboridashi is made of a fine and light and left unglazed. When firing, the almost white clay develops dark speckles, which are iron inclusions, i. e. droplets of iron contained in the clay. In addition, different shades of color arise, forming a visually discreet, but nevertheless appealing stripe pattern. As the pictures on this page vividly illustrate, the perceived color of the teapot changes with the light and surroundings.
In terms of size, our Signature Shiboridashi, in line with ancient Japanese standards, accommodates well 100 ml of liquid, plus the corresponding amount of tea leaves. The shapely, elegant Shiboridashi pours drip-free, and you can touch and handle it at the rim even in hot condition. Regular rinsing with warm water will help preventing the formation of patina. However, many tea lovers will appreciate the patina.
Well, why unglazed …. First of all, it were natural, unglazed works that had initially inspired me. On the one hand, because the natural clay greatly emphasizes the connection between the soil and the tea leaves. Then, because the desirable properties of clay with tea preparation will show best this way. And thirdly, I found the unglazed vessels simply incredibly beautiful and best reflecting the simple character of tea.
Any doubts? Just give it a try … And you won’t want to use any other tea vessels anymore!
Please note ! Since each of our SiamTeas Signature Shiboridashi is individually hand-crafted, virtually every specimen is unique. Therefore, minor deviations in shape and capacity may occur between individual specimens.
Other elements of our SiamTeas Signature Tea Ceramics Line
Besides the shiboridashi, our SiamTeas Signature Tea Ceramics line includes the following elements in orientation at the core requirements for the casual or ritual tea preparation:
- SiamTeas Signature Teapot 200ml, unglazed, fine light clay
- SiamTeas Signature Yuzamashi 250ml, unglazed, fine light clay
Moreover, teapot, shibo and yuzamashi are also available as an ensemble, of course coming with a price advantage: