Traditional Kuro Raku bowl handmade in Kyoto at Shoraku kiln by artisan Sasaki Shoraku.
Raku-yaki, the most luxurious material used for the tea ceremony in Japan, is a unique ceramic that requires an ancient working technique developed about 400 years ago in Kyoto, specifically to craft Matcha bowls.
Today Raku bowls are still made in the same traditional way and they are often objects of envy for people who learn the tea ceremony. There are two main kinds of Raku bowls: Kuro-raku which means black Raku, and Aka-raku, which means red Raku.
A very fascinating feature of Raku-yaki is that it feels very soft and warm to the touch of hands or mouth. Despite being very thick, this bowl is relatively light and it is covered with thick coats of glaze. The thick glaze helps to give Raku-yaki its soft and warm material feel. This Raku bowl has been fired for a short time at a lower temperature compared to other general ceramics. (1,100C to 1,200C for about 10 minutes).
Raku has a water-absorbing property, so it is possible for the ceramic to retain and "sweat" small amounts of water. Gently wash exclusively with water and pat dry after each use.
Each bowl possesses 2 specific signature marks, one on the inside wall and one on the outside wall, which are left by the steel clam that is used by the potter to extract the bowls from the kiln while still red hot.
Each bowl is made by hand and no two bowls are the same. A valuable object that represents one of Japan's quintessential values, Wabi-Sabi, an aesthetic and spiritual ideal that finds beauty in the imperfect look of things.