Thursday, February 9, 2012

3rd grade - A bowl called 'Seppo'

Today in class we learned about a special bowl known as 'Seppo'. It was created by a Raku master named Hon'ami Koetsu in the early 1600's in Japan. It is a ceremonial tea bowl.

Raku is a form of pottery that focuses on the unique aspects and natural imperfections found in hand built and wood fired pottery. It ties in with the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi. Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection. The concept includes the idea that hand built pottery cannot be replicated because each piece has unique imperfections. This makes each piece profoundly valuable since cannot be recreated exactly and it is irreplaceable.

There is a story I told the students about this particular bowl that is absolutely thrilling! Rather than re-tell it here, ask your student to tell you the story of the 13 year war that was fought for this bowl! At the end of the war, it was broken, then repaired using gold! Part of the concept of wabi-sabi is repair, don't replace. The addition of the gold repair increases the value rather than decreases it!

Look for an upcoming post about our third grade clay project! No, we are not doing Raku. We are hand building clay cups!