Ippuku … a breather – this series’ theme, and its promise. The delicate ridges that embrace its surfaces suggest a mild breeze. Pull back focus and see the echo of a chasen, the bamboo whisk used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Yet the handle and bold spout stand out, acknowledging universal style, and putting the austerity of that ancient practice genially in its place.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the tiny port of Imari in Saga prefecture became one of the most famous places in the world. It was the shipping port nearest Arita, where the secrets of fine porcelain had been unlocked, leading to a mania for it among European sophisticates that came to be known as “porcelain fever”.
It was this bay that inspired the founding of Imari Togei in 1981; a meditation on the unassuming commercial gateway that bore witness to the vast twists of history that shaped Japanese society, and the steady stream of beauty and invention that flowed from it.
Ippuku … a break, a departure. A moment for oneself amid the clamor. Tea sets from a place where the acts of making tea and art fold into one, and ask us to see all of life in a cup. Vessels to transport us to placid waters, like the bay that is this studio’s namesake.