This teacup is hand-painted with a charming plum blossom design and finished with a very glossy clear glaze. The flowers are softly rendered in white and red with expertly-placed accents in gold. A wash of rosy pink color serves as a lovely backdrop for the blossoming branches. Plum blossoms, or ume, start blooming in late February in Japan, while the weather is still cold. The blooming of the plum trees signals that the end of winter is near. While their blooming may mark the unofficial start to spring, they don’t bring an end to snow season. Snow covered ume are not an uncommon sight. The small patch left clear across the the middle of the design evoke the image of snow covered tree branches. At the base of many of the buds, the artist has added a single dot of green, suggesting the tree’s early spring growth. Subtle hints of pink mix with the cup’s natural cream with dark fleck clay color on the ‘back’ and interior of the cup, adding to its overall serene appearance.
This cup feels nice in the hand. It is lightweight and its slightly pinched waist make it comfortable to hold. With a 5 oz capacity and a wide shape, this teacup could also function as a modern, small matcha bowl. A wonderful vessel to sip from as you welcome spring or reminisce about the seasons.
Kiyomizu or Kiyo-yaki pottery is produced in and around the city of Kyoto, Japan. Kiyomizu pottery traces its origins to the 5th century. At one time, potters and their kilns dotted the streets around the Kiyomizu-dera Temple on the outskirts of Kyoto. Today many high-quality pottery shops remain in this section of town, located on the streets lining the hill up to the temple, but the potters have moved out of the city to nearly Yamashina where there is more room for their workshops. The style and appearance of Kiyomizu pottery has evolved and changed over many centuries, first adding vivid colors during the Muromachi period (1338-1573), and then adding over-glazing techniques to give an added luster to items post-firing. Kiyomizo pottery is known for its hand-painted designs, vivid or soft color tones and clear glossy finish glazes.
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.
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