Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Park Jong Il Teacup Sale

There is something compelling about tea that goes beyond the ordinary.  Each morning I sit with a Korean teacup, small, no handle, subtle in color and form, fitting my hand and gently conveying the warmth of tea.  It is most often filled with Korean green tea – picked early in the spring – warm to both the hand and heart.  Those moments take me away from the blur of daily life to peace and clarity.  For me, that is “tea”.

One of My Park Jong Il Morning Tea Cups
Often that cup is one made by Park Jong Il.  When I drink from one of his cups, I am reminded of his studio that we watched being built from raw clay and trees hewn nearby.  It reminds me of the view from his mountaintop home – down across the valley.  The cup reminds me of the firing of his kiln and the wood fly ash touching the cup as it reaches its mature temperature.  It reminds me of his wonderful family - his wife Shin In-Suk and daughter Park Seo-Ryeon.  It must be very difficult living so far from a city.  It must be fantastic living so far from a city.
Drinking from his cup also reminds me of a memorable Korean Tea ceremony held especially for one of our tours just outside his studio.  It was wonderful witnessing the full range of Park Jong Il’s tea ware being used as they should be.

A Korean Tea Ceremony Using Park Jong Il's Teaware
It is for these reasons that Morning Crane Tea was formed.  Simply to bring you a little closer to the wonderful tea ware artists like Park Jong Il and fine organic Korean teas to fill those special teapots and cups.
I hesitated posting any sale on this particular blog.  This blog is an information blog, a place to introduce artists and sometimes a little tea.  But, this blog also has more followers and more ‘hits’ than any of my other blogs with the possible exception of Dawan Chawan Chassabal - that will never see a sale.  So in an attempt to make Morning Crane Tea more visible we are posting these two sales.  The first on tea, the second on tea ware.  In the future any sales will be on our Morning Crane Tea Ware blog that will get more interesting throughout the year and a new tea blog dedicated to the teas we offer.  That blog will be coming after the spring tea harvest.  We will have more teas to offer and by then our technical difficulties may be solved allowing us to work on our web sites again.  Please publicly join our Tea Ware blog as we will introduce new tea ware artists there, each with a limited quantity sale.  Bear in mind we are primarily a wholesale distributor not a regular on-line retail teashop.  If you have a legitimate retail store and are interested in handling any of our teas or tea ware contact us.
I have had to separate Park Jong Il’s offerings into two parts:  Teapots and Teacups.
So that you too may be able to sit some mornings with a Park Jong Il cup - warming both your heart and hand, I would like to introduce his current cup offerings.
Park Jong Il’s cups sell for as much as $30 in the West and deservedly so.

Park Jong Il's 'Chatchan'
To contact us to reserve your cup or cup set, click on the number associated with your choice.  Click on the photos to enlarge them for a better view .

1 Porcelain Cup Set: $45.00 SOLD
I really like the purity of porcelain against tea.  For many years I made Dagi Sets 다기 or tea sets with cups, mine with un-matching forms.  I had studied with a Japanese porcelain cultural treasure, an amazing experience, but one in which he had me make every cup exactly alike – two hundred a day.  While I value greatly those skills, I came to believe in cups like chawan - as individual servants of tea.  I suppose it is the Korean in me.  In any case when you have a variety of cup forms you usually don’t have to say, “Which cup is mine?”
How do I look at 'matching tea sets'?  They are like ones waiters or waitresses, dressed the same, but each with their own individual personality.  
These cups measure approx. 1.75" H by 2.25 D and 1.50 H by 2.75" D.  A great pair.

2 Stoneware 3 Cup Set:  $70.00 SOLD

This wonderful stoneware 3 cup set is perfect for any collection.  Neutral in color they will complement any tea.  They are  a set but upon closer inspection their individuality emerges.  Their form, one of my favorite forms, mimics many Korean chawan.  Subtle and beautiful. 
These cups are larger, measuring between  1.8" and 2" H and 3.25" and 3.5" D.  A beautiful set, flashed by the fire, the photo does not do them justice.

3 Single Stoneware Cup: $22.50 SOLD

This is a very ‘warm’ cup and one that will fit your hand beautifully as you savor your morning or evening tea.  It too mimics many Korean chawan.  I am enamored with tea ware that shows the process of the production of the piece.  The single drip is charming.  The cup - warm and inviting.
This cup measures  1.75" H and 3" D.  One of my favorites.

4 A ‘Gqey-yl’ Cup Set:  $67.50 SOLD

A rare buncheong ‘gqey yl’ or brushed slip set from Mr. Park.  Each cup stands as an individual and together reminding me of many historical moments in Korean ceramic history.  I’m currently preparing a post on an older buncheong chawan.  Watch for it on one of my other blogs.  Buncheong decorating processes are among my favorite processes.  These are made beautifully.  If you don’t have a buncheong ‘gqey yl’ set in your collection.  Here is your opportunity.
These cups measure between 1.3" and 1.6" H and 2.48 and 2.75 D.   One of my favorite groups.

5 A ‘Tum-bung-mun’ Individual Cup: $22.50 SOLD

This beautifully calming cup is decorated with another buncheong decorating process called ‘tum bung mun’ in Korean.  In this case the cup is dipped into white slip before the bisque firing then glazed partially with a clear glaze and fired in his wood kiln.  It is made beautifully.  If you don’t have a buncheong ‘tum bung mun’ cup in you collection.  Here is your opportunity.
This cup measures 2" H and 3.12" D.

6 A ‘Gqey-yl’ Individual Cup:  $22.50 SOLD

This cups is similar to the cups in ‘4’ above but larger.  Warm in color it will fit your hand beautifully.  It is wonderfully made with superb 'flashing' on the clay body.  If you don’t have a buncheong ‘gqey yl’ cup in you collection.  Here is a great opportunity.
This cup measures 2" H and 3.25" D.  You will enjoy this cup.

7 A ‘Tum-bung-mun’ Individual Cup: $25.00 SOLD

Like 5 above, this beautiful cup is decorated with the buncheong decorating process called ‘tum bung mun’ in Korean.  In this case the cup is dipped into white slip before the bisque firing then glazed partially with a clear glaze and fired in his wood kiln.  But this cup has an added feature that, like the cup in my collection that opened this post, illustrates a rare kiln phenomenon - reduction-oxidation spotting.  This occurs when during the firing the cup captures both the reduction gray and oxidation white in random patterns.  Thank you ‘orumgama’.  If you don’t have a buncheong ‘tum bung mun’ cup with these rare spots in you collection, here is your opportunity.  It is made beautifully and is one of my favorites.  Perhaps I should have put it up for bids.
This cup measures 2" H and 3.2" D. 

To view a selection of Park Jong Il's teapots click here.
Do we have a 'Tea Special' for those who purchase a Park Jong Il cup at these sale prices?  We do!  It is $2.00 off any of the sale prices on our tea seen at the now ended tea sale
Do we have special 'public blog follower' prices for these cups?  Of course, but you will have to contact me to find out what they are.
Go To Next Park Jong Il Post

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Morning Crane Teapot Sale - Park Jong Il

It seems appropriate to begin our first ever tea ware sale with the work of Park Jong Il whose work I have reviewed most often on this site.  Two years ago, January 2010, I introduced Park Jong Il with a post on his Tea Gallery and showroom that he had built with trees hewn nearby and raw clay also from his environment.  That was followed by how he handled water and his ch'at gi or teapots.  Then I wrote about his chatchan or teacups and chawan.  I completed that series of posts with Park's kiln and a post on his family.  I suspect that I will not present another artist in the same depth that I have presented Park Jong Il - but you never know.  In any case, it is obviously appropriate to begin our first Morning Crane Tea blog sale with the work of Park Jong Il.
 Park Jong Il Serving Tea
With this sale we are offering Park Jong Il's ch'at gi - teapots and chatchan - teacups.  We have both teapots and teacups in stock here in the USA.  If you are interested in any other work he does, that can also be arranged.  Contact us for details.  Since Morning Crane Tea is primarily a wholesale distributor,  we are hoping that legitimate tea retail stores will contact us for wholesale prices of Park Jong Il's work.     
All prices for this sale are discounted below retail outlets of Park Jong Il's work available from Western sources.  If you are serious, we can make inquiries about Park Jong Il's  other significant work such as his "boat and ocean" (the name he gives to the work he devised to handle water) and his chawan.  However, this sale is limited to no more than 10 teapots of the two styles you see displayed below plus selected teacups.  So if you are interested, contact us now to reserve the teapot or cups you want.   
Once the tea sale is finished we will have tea ware available at regular retail prices.

About the Teapots

Click on Images to Enlarge
We have available basically two types of Park Jong Il's teapots.  Those made with an iron rich clay body and those made with a porcelain clay body.  Both are fired to what we in the West call 'stoneware' temperatures.  In keeping with old Korean tradition, neither is glazed on the inside.  The porcelain teapots are glazed on the outside and are meant primarily for green tea.   The dark clay body is unglazed and obtains its surface color from the reduction wood firing and fly ash 'kissing' the surface of the pot.  Both come with different knob styles.  Plain knobs as you see above and figurative knobs as you see below.

By Western standards, these teapots are small.  The  darker teapots average 4" in height including the knob and 3.25" in diameter across the thickest part of the body.  The  porcelain teapots are 3.75" in height including the knob and about 3" in diameter across the thickest part of the body.  They are perfect for Korean style brewing.
We'll look at the teapots with selected cups first and then look at the individual teacups. All tea cups are approximately 3" in diameter and 2" tall unless otherwise noted.  Now lets look at what we have available.   Click the name of the item to contact us to reserve that teapot. You must supply your name email address and the number of the item(s).

Dark Clay Natural Wood fired Teapots and Cups
Click on Images to Enlarge 
 Teapot 1A - R and L Sides  $160.00 SOLD

Like all of Park Jong Il's teapots this iron rich wood fired teapot has all the characteristics of an exceptional Korean style teapot.  Each of his teapot forms,  including bodies, handles, spouts and lids, are beautifully balanced throughout and their surfaces, particularly on the dark clay, reflect the fire beautifully.  These iron rich teapots are also robust and when  presented to the whims of the fire emerge naturally kissed by the flame and flying wood ash.  You can feel how the fire touched each of these teapots differently. 
Since this is a sale, I have to discuss prices.  With the sale price of $160, you save $20.00 off the Western retail price of $180.00.  In addition, for a limited time, we will include a free 50g bag of Dong Cheon's Daejak green tea with each purchase.  Add $5.00 more for Jungak, $10.00 more for Sejak or Dan-cha.   But that is not all.

Suggested cups for 1A SOLD
Park Jong Il's iron rich teapots do not come with matching teacups.  Park Jong Il explains that while the teapot is unglazed, the teacups must be glazed for sanitary health reasons.  It is a philosophy of practicality in tune with nature. 
Since this sale is to introduce tea ware we have to have some "best offer".  Park Jong Il's teapots sell in the West for $180.00 retail and his teacups for $30 each or $270.00 for a teapot and three teacups.  Koreans use 3 or 5 teacups in a set  and have many teapots each for their various kinds of tea.  Our sale price is $160.00 for the teapot and usually $20.00 for each of the cups.  However, if you purchase both the teapot and the three cups suggested with the set, the total price is only $195.00 a savings of $75.00 off the retail price and $25.00 off the sale price. Plus you get the free Daejak tea, a $10.00 sale price value, or the Jungjak for $5.00 more or Sejak or Dan-cha for $10.00 more.  Please keep this offer in mind for all of the teapots offered with this sale.  All teapots are priced the same so if there is one you are interested in, reserve it now.

Click on Images to Enlarge

Teapot 2A - R and L Sides  $160.00 SOLD

Suggested cups for 2A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge 
Teapot 3A - R and L Sides  $160.00  SOLD
 Suggested cups for 3A  SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 4A - R and L Sides  $160.00 SOLD

Suggested cups for 4A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 5A - R and L Sides  $160.00 SOLD

 Suggested cups for 5A SOLD

Porcelain Wood Fired Teapots and Cups

In Korea, many people believe porcelain to be the "gem of the ceramic arts".  Park Jong Il's porcelain teapots are truly 'gems'.  Porcelain reflects the purity of nature.  White porcelain reflects a quiet dignity and a refined sense of order.  Somehow, Park Jong Il's white porcelain teapots also reflect a sense of naturalness, calm and peace.  At a time when many Western teapot artists are searching for flamboyant teapots, even neglecting the purpose of the the pot and forgetting about tea, this Eastern artist remembers the importance of Tea.
Unlike the old question, "Which came first the chicken or the egg", there is no doubt that tea came before the teapot and Park Jong Il's teapots are made to serve both tea and Tea.

Let's look at his porcelain teapot offerings.

 Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 6A - R and L Sides  SOLD

Suggested cups for 6A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 7A - R and L Sides  $160.00 SOLD

Suggested cups for 7A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 8A - R and L Sides SOLD

 Suggested cups for 8A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
Teapot 9A - R and L Sides  SOLD

 Suggested cups for 9A SOLD

Click on Images to Enlarge
 Teapot 10A - R and L Sides SOLD

Suggested cups for 10A SOLD

Park Jong Il's special teacups are posted on the next post.
Current followers of this blog may activate a very special discount option by contacting me.  If you are not a current public 'follower' or known follower of our blogs, now is the time to join us for information on Korean and international tea ware artists and tea. 
 Go To Park Jong Next Post