Bisila Noha Ceramics

An Interpretation of the Way of Tea I


The inspiration for this set stems from different sources.

The idea of creating a set of pieces, which while each having their own ‘personality’, see their sense or essence fulfilled when put together with the others, is something I am highly interested in. And so I find the work of ceramicists like Kristen Coelho or Gwyn Hanssen Pigott mesmerising. 


A question potters ask themselves more often than not is ‘is my work functional or decorative?’ In my case, I like making functional ware. Nevertheless, I have been looking for ways of coming up with creations that also are beautiful to look at and could be seen as pure decorative pieces, like a sculpture would. 

Sculptures normally are exhibited or displayed on a plinth, which perfectly delimits the space occupied by the creation in question. Following this concept, I decided to also make trays, which not only could function as trays whenever the set is being used, but also as a plinth for the rest of the pieces of the set. 


As to the marbled decoration, it is something I discovered at a museum of Italian ceramics. When it comes to decoration, I had so far looked for different textures and colours using glazes. And when I was introduced to this usage of slips, I was completely amazed by its simplicity and power at the same time.

I called this project 'An interpretation of the way of tea' as once I saw all the pieces finished and together, they looked like the definition of wabisabi I had created in my head. Being wabisabi, a Japanese concept according to which there is no such thing as imperfections or beauty vs ugliness. If it comes from one's inside, it will always be beautiful.

I developed this project at La Meridiana International School of Ceramics, during the 6-week residency I did in November-December 2016 under the guidance of John Colbeck.