Vintage Matcha Bowl - Gold w/ Iris

Matcha Bowl with Iris on Gold Background


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Potter: Kyoho
Kyoyaki Pottery, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
3″ tall
5″ wide
Packaged in an artist-signed wooden box


Shop for Japanese Matcha


Potters fashion Matcha bowls from various clay in all of the famous pottery making areas of Japan. They are traditionally hand-built from local clay that has been fired in wood, electric or gas fired kilns that do not reach a high internal temperature. As such, Matcha bowls are softer in density and clay structure than porcelain tea wares, which are fired at a very high temperature and whose glaze has bonded with the clay to create a hard, durable piece.


Matcha bowls are made for whisking and drinking powdered green tea and are durable for this use, but are not meant for drinking hotter-temperature types of tea such as black tea. Nor are they meant to be used as a teapot substitute for steeping loose-leaf tea.


In Japan and Korea much attention is paid to the unique characteristics of handmade pottery, and this includes all of the variables that make a handmade piece unique. A drippy glaze, a slightly lopsided lip, a finger mark in the glaze, etc, are examples of character that shows ‘the hand’ of the maker.


Matcha bowls can develop glaze cracks on the inside and outside surfaces of the clay depending on the type of clay and the type of glaze the bowl has been given. Cracks that appear only in the glaze with used (as opposed to cracks in the actual clay body) do not leak or weaken the vessel. Glaze cracks  and are held in high regard by tea drinkers, tea wares collectors and potters. It is the ‘voice of the clay’ speaking, and is viewed as the piece contributing some ‘self-patterning’ to the surface appearance. No two pieces of pottery will ever be exactly the same when the glaze develops a unique pattern of distinguishing glaze cracks from use.


Owning a Matcha bowl requires thoughtful handling and careful use.


Matcha bowls are not intended for use in a microwave or dishwasher. These tea bowls are meant to be simply rinsed and air-dried on a kitchen towel on the counter-top after use. Using Matcha bowls for tea other than powdered green tea can result in introducing water to the bowl that is too hot – this will encourage more glaze cracking to develop.


Please be aware that some foot-rings on Matcha bowls are intentionally not glazed and that un-glazed clay can be rough. While foot-rings such as these are considered desirable, one should take care to protect wooden table surfaces, counter-tops, and stainless-steel surfaces from being scratched.

Cool, serene and elegant – this tea bowl has style and personality and would be perfect for a joyous spring tea gathering.

The bowl prominently features both front and back a display of Japanese iris (Iris laevigata or rabbit-ear iris ) inspired by the works of Ogata Kōrin (尾形光琳?, 1658 – June 2, 1716). Ogata, a member of the Rinpa School style of painting, often depicted groupings of blue-purple iris in a natural setting on decorative folding screens. His screens are classified as National Treasures in Japan.

This rendering of iris is simple and peaceful – the gold background is faithful to the gold backgrounds that Ogata Kōrin painted on his screens. Kyoho has given texture and definition to his gold background that further emulates the textured gold backgrounds of Ogata’s screens. A stunning rendition of a famous work in another medium.

Please Note:
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese teawares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.