Title:TeabowlArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Edo periodCreation Place:Asia, JapanCredit Line:Gift of Charles L. FreerAccession Number:17.109
Raku ware teabowls were first created by Cho_jiro, a tile maker, under the direction of the great tea master Sen Rikyu_ (1520-1591). The light earthenware clay, thick black or red glaze, and hand-built forms combined to suggest the simplicity and rustic quality desired by Rikyu_. The earthenware body of the bowl also mitigated the temperature of the tea, making the bowl feel warm and comfortable in the hands. The slightly exaggerated surface treatment of this bowl, and the pictorial design of a fisherman trolling his boat, suggests that it was created later in the Edo period (1600-1868) when tea enthusiasts and potters began to venture beyond the conservative and somber aesthetic preferred by Rikyu_.