Chawan, or tea bowl, is a traditional ceramic teaware. An artifact of old world China, the humble chawan spread to other East Asian nations in the early modern centuries, notably to nearby Japan and Korea. It is used for preparing and serving tea, particularly whisked suspensions of matcha and other powdered teas.
We describe the glaze as faintly resembling the colour of ochre, an iron-rich clay earth pigment that is plentiful in Australia. Ochre has been used by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years; the pigment finds use in personal decoration, cave and bark paintings, as a sunscreen, a preservative of animal hides and in burial rites.
About the artist
This chawan was prepared in a small batch commission by Canberra-based Richilde Flavell of Girl Nomad Ceramics. Being hand-thrown, hand-glazed and readied for the shelf in a gas-fired kiln, each chawan is truly one-of-a-kind. The finished work is desirably substantial but aesthetically subtle, following the natural expression of Richilde’s ceaseless experimentation with fine clays and glazes.