Studio Visit: Shion Tabata (Part II)

Magic of the Tea Bowl Volume III
June 22, 2023
Studio Visit: Shion Tabata (Part II)

 From her breathtaking studio in Karuizawa, Shion Tabata provided insights into her ceramic practice. She has yielded a number of tea bowls that draw upon classic Japanese traditions such as Iga and Shigarakai, now on view at Ippodo Gallery as part of Magic of the Tea Bowl (vol. III). 


 Shion Tabata at her studio 'Shiongama.'


 Shion Tabata at her studio 'Shiongama.'


Shion Tabata is a great utsushi artist, cultured by her expertise in antiques. Shigaraki, Iga, and Shino are three such forms in Tabata’s repertoire, and it is rare for a female artist to fire the kiln seven days without rest; but the result is energizing and soulful.


 Shion Tabata, White Raku Tea Bowl - 白楽茶碗, (C25845)


Question 1

Do you practice tea in daily life? Please share your chanoyu routine, or a beloved memory of chanoyu.



 I worked at a tea utensil shop because of my love for tea ceremonies and tea utensils. Through my assistance in formal and informal tea ceremonies, such as those held at Koetsukai and Ryoutei-Kitcho, I was again captivated by the beauty of teawares. These experiences catalyzed my decision to explore the pottery world as an artist.


Shion Tabata's tea ceremony food ware.


Shion Tabata's tea ceremony food ware.



Please describe the influences that inspire your work.



 I often get inspiration from Momoyama period masterpieces and nature, such as fruits. 


Shion TabataNezumi Shino Tea Bowl - 鼠志野茶碗, (C25844)



Please describe the qualities do you most treasure in a tea bowl—be that shape, color, texture, or history, style, and type of clay? 



 Throughout my workflow, I pay the most attention to the materials and the firing process.


Shion TabataShigaraki Tea Bowl - 信楽茶碗, (C26039)



Please share with us how you prepare to make a new piece; how do you decide on the materials and direction for the idea?



Once I develop the desire for creation, I step into my atelier. That moment is a state of readiness for me.


Views from Shion Tabata's studio 'Shiongama.'


Views from Shion Tabata's studio 'Shiongama.'


Shion Tabata's kiln at 'Shiongama.'


 Please click on the banner below to access the first part of Ippodo Gallery's studio visit with Shion Tabata; Visiting a Master of Imitation in the Mountains of Karuizawa.



About the author

Keiko Taniguchi

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