A word that sounds familiar, but those three syllables are full with meaning.

WA – Representing the harmony of the world, it’s expressed in Japanese with a simple circle. Not just any circle but one drawn by hand. Thus, one that is always imperfect and human.

SA – The euphonic form of the Japanese for tea, and in the bigger sense, a cup of what you love, time you cherish slowly, sometimes alone in thought, sometimes with others you care about.

BI – Begins the word for beautiful, but in Japanese it also completes the word kinōbi, the special beauty discovered when form meshes lyrically with function.

In Japan the acts of making tea and making art fold into one. It asks us to see all of life in a cup – a cup of tea that satisfies a greater thirst and calls up the idea of ippuku … a break, a departure. A moment for ourselves, or with those close to us, amid the clamor.

These tea sets, whose delicate, flowing ridges suggest a mild breeze, are vessels to transport us to placid waters, like the bay at the port of Imari, this studio’s namesake and inspiration. Their surface echoes the chasen, the bamboo whisk used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. But the handle and bold spout speak to global style, putting the austerity of that ancient practice genially in its place.

WA・SA・BI – Simple syllables that belie the fullness of feeling Imari Tougei wants to take everywhere there are those to share it. The concept of omotenashi, the uniquely Japanese regard for food culture and service, lives in them.

More information at wa-sa-bi-arita.com