Title:Teabowl with Leaf DecorArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Southern Sung dynastyCreation Place:Asia, China, Hupei ProvinceCredit Line:Gift of Ruth and Bruce DaytonAccession Number:98.74
Leaf pattern bowls rank amongst the rarest and most celebrated products of the Chi-chou kilns in Hupei province. The decoration was apparently achieved by affixing a leaf to the interior of the bowl before immersing it in the iron-rich slurry used to create the dark brown glaze used at Chi-chou. In the heat of the kiln, the natural chemicals in the leaf react with the glaze, rendering it nearly transparent. It is assumed that the many Chan (Zen) monks who must have used such vessels found the naturalism of the decor especially to their liking.