If you have so far associated furniture restoration with an experience close to meditation, I'm afraid I will disappoint you. Instead, it has a lot of the feel of an action film. There is a fight...
It is a symbol of peace, harmony and mental balance. It stops time or at least slows it down. It soothes. Embraces. Connects. Tea. It has always been on a pedestal in my home. And next to it, the subject of vessels, cups and kettles. They say that the taste of tea depends on the kettle, and true connoisseurs never wash it and wait for the patina to accumulate. Today, let us take a look at some of the most beautiful examples.
It is a symbol of peace, harmony and mental balance. It stops time, or at least slows it down. It soothes. Embraces. Connects. Tea. It has always been on a pedestal in my home. And next to it, the subject of vessels, cups and kettles. They say that the taste of tea depends on the kettle, and true connoisseurs never wash it and wait for the patina to accumulate. Today, let us take a look at some of the most beautiful examples.
Tea has always played an important role in my house. "Who's making the tea today?", "I will brew some tea for you.", "Would you like some tea?". Always Earl Grey. Sweetened. With a hint of lemon. No judgement, please.
I personally feel that tea softens emotions, brings people closer, wraps them up like a warm blanket on a cool day. It's like a cure for sadness, for a hard day. It's a strange kind of certainty that the world can keep turning, go upside down, thwarting our plans, but the tea will always be the same, hot and ready to listen. I remember a saying with one of my work colleagues (who is now a lifelong friend) that we borrowed from an internet meme: "I will make our favourite tea, and you can tell me anything." We used to say this (even without brewing the tea) to comfort each other in the dark hours of our transactional Public Relations-related struggles. It was so encouraging, as if it was saying, "You are not alone, I will help you, you do not have to worry, we will get through this." Another friend of mine says she’s coming over to chat and wants "my" tea (only with less raspberry juice). When I was pregnant, I read a guidebook by a famous British pregnancy and parenting guru who preached that the first thing you should do when you get home from hospital with a newborn is... brew tea and drink it. Tea - a sedative and a time stopper. The apotheosis of the nest, the family home. A symbol of tranquillity. An inconspicuous bond of human relationships. And something I miss most when I am far away again.
Tea is an integral part of Japanese culture, with a history that goes back thousands of years. The first mentions of tea in Japan date back to the 8th century when, like many other customs, it came to Japan from China along with Buddhism. However, it was the Japanese who developed and perfected the art of tea preparation and created a unique ritual known as "chanoyu" or "tea ceremony" Tea symbolises peace, harmony and spiritual balance in Japan. To this day, it is an integral part of everyday Japanese life and plays a crucial role in social interaction.
The utensils used during the chanoyu ceremony, known as "chanoyu no dōgu", have great symbolic and aesthetic significance in Japan. Each item is carefully selected and has its place in the ceremony. These utensils are often handmade by ceramicists and artists. Each piece has a unique shape and texture and often serves as a starting point for discussions and reflections on nature, life and the human spirit.
Okakura Kakuzō, a Japanese philosopher and tea connoisseur, wrote extensively about tea culture and art in his famous book "The Book of Tea" He devoted a considerable part of it to tea kettles, emphasising their role in the process of tea preparation and consumption. According to him, a tea kettle is not only a vessel but also a "symbol and seal that reminds us of the eternal pursuit of beauty and harmony in all that is fleeting and ephemeral." He described the tea kettle as a "jewel in the crown of the tea ceremony" and recommended it as "simple and elegant, its shape and form radiating tranquillity and harmony."
Autumn has just begun, my favourite time of year. No doubt you will reach for tea more often now. Present it the way it deserves, show respect for yourself and bring art into everyday life. Today I would like to show you some tea kettles that are so breathtakingly beautiful that you will not be able to look away. And be warned: although appearances can be deceiving, many of them come from the hands of non-Japanese creators.