This piece of Temmoku was manufactured in the Fujian province of China during the Song Dynasty. The name Temmoku comes from the Japanese pronunciation of Tianmu Shan, a mountain where Japanese Buddhist Monks came to study Zen Buddhism and took this type of bowl back to Japan. Temmoku is characterized by its iron-oxide glazes, which get darker when they cool faster. The striations in the glaze are highly prized for their resemblance to hare’s fur, and ceramic pieces with Temmoku glazes are often referred to simply as hare’s fur bowls. The bowls reached their highest level of popularity during the Song Dynasty, when Buddhist monks would drink tea to stay awake during nightly ceremonies. This piece has a pronounced hare’s fur pattern, which goes well with the iron rich glaze to create an exemplary piece of Temmoku.
-Constantine Botimer, Class of 2019