Being the first cold day of the season, I had a lightbulb moment with my morning cuppa tea. Instead of the usual mug, I instinctively chose the non-handled tea bowl to warm my hands. I used to shun handles because I was terrible at making them - most beginners are - and at the time I preferred non-handled cups anyway... maybe that's just an excuse since I didn't like making handles & I hadn't found many mugs that I liked. In the past year I fell in love with mugs, but I have a newfound appreciation for tea bowls - it's all in the season. On cold days like today mugs might be used more for cold beverages, but a warm cup feels comforting cupped in the hands, more intimate. I can picture me sitting on the couch after a long day at work, wrapped in a blanket, watching the cats run around while imagining different pots form in my head, drinking a toasty cuppa tea. Though I enjoy the long days and outer warmth of summer, I welcome the change in seasons, with the inner warmth of tea, and wearing long-sleeved shirts.
I can't remember the last time I made a tea bowl... if ever. I make many cups, though none I would describe as a "tea bowl." In fact I don't know what it means for a tea bowl to be a tea bowl, except that I have seen enough labeled so that I understand the general form of one. Please, educate me on the history of the tea bowl if you can. Meanwhile, here are some beautiful yunomis (tea bowls that are generally more tall than wide) from one of my favorite artists, Kristen Kieffer: