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Tea Bowl Series: 油滴茶碗 - “Oil Spot” Glazed Tea Bowl

 油滴茶碗 - “Oil Spot” Glazed Tea Bowl

For me there is nothing more beautiful and fascinating than the variability of Tenmoku glazes.

Tenmoku glazes can be divided into many categories.
Oil spot glazes are one type of tenmoku glazes and include hare’s fur and partridge feather glazes. They are high-iron glazes and can range in color from dark plum to yellow to brown and black.
The essential sign of high-iron glazes is the metallic glow.

Unfortunately you will notice at the first glance that the pictures cannot describe the powerful effects of high-iron glazes.



“Oil Spot” Glazed Tea Bowl


 油滴茶碗 (2016 © A Matcha Enthusiast's Diary)

Oil spot glazes are high in alumina and silica and relatively high in potassium oxide and magnesium oxide. When fired in oxidation the oil spot glaze occurs, meaning that the natural spotting of iron and the resulting silvery iron crystals give the tea bowl its metallic glow.


“Oil Spot” Glazed Chawan

  • [Put in simple terms,] [...] high-iron glazes [...] are applied in thick layers, which bubble up through one another and generate patterns [of small spots that look like oil drops loating on water].
  • Source: Oil Spot and Hare’s Fur Glazes: Demystifying Classic Ceramic Glazes. ceramicartsdaily.org/. http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramic-glaze-recipes/glaze-chemistry-ceramic-glaze-recipes-2/oil-spot-and-hares-fur-glazes-demystifying-a-classic-ceramic-glaze-2/ (Retrieved 12.09.2016)

For more information I can recommend reading "The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes" by John Britt. 

Kodai (2016 © A Matcha Enthusiast's Diary)
Iron glazes with oil spots are known as yuteki. 

In sunlight this tea bowl gets a metallic radiance and shimmers charmingly. Very beautiful!

Usucha made in an oil spot glazed Chawan
Oca Ocani

My journey through the world of Japanese teas started after discovering Matcha. That was nearly seven years ago. And during this time Matcha became my favorite green tea.

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