These gaiwans were handmade by Mark Mohler using Lizella clay from the Appalachians in Georgia where he grew up. Making pottery with local clay is one key trademark of Buncheong, and of all great pottery of tea culture. Mark's relationship with Lizella allows him to fire the clay high and make strong durable teaware at any thickness. You’ll notice quite quickly how the clay interacts with the water and tea: texture changes, color changes, patterns of evaporation. The interactions of each use leave a lasting impression.
The Buncheong Aesthetic
They are made with Buncheong tools that Mark carved after receiving the transmission from a master in Korea. Instead of cutting clay away, Buncheong tools push and displace. You can see the interesting shapes the clay takes on in the knob and foot. I like how the knob rises from the lid like a landform.
The benefits of a handmade gaiwan by someone as attentive to detail as Mark go well beyond the aesthetic. The slope of the lip, the multiple conjoining angles at the edge of the lid, and the clay thickness all combine to give these gaiwans the best, easiest, cleanest pour possible.
This Gaiwan is 145ml
Measured by filling up to the level of the lid, without tea present.