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Tea Bowl #1

Mary Roehm

American, born 1951

Tea Bowl #1, 2004

  • Not On View

Porcelain

Dimensions: 4 1/4 × 6 1/8 × 3 5/8 in. (10.8 × 15.6 × 9.2 cm)

Gift of Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger, 2016.67

While based on a very traditional form, this punctured tea bowl is highly experimental and innovative. Mary Roehm’s process begins on a potter’s wheel where she molds the object’s general shape. She then moves into pinching, tearing, and pulling the porcelain clay until the bowl is ready to be fired in a wood kiln. Tea Bowl #1 is wood fired meaning that kiln is heated with wood rather than another fuel source. Ashes of the wood fall naturally upon the objects, and if the firing temperature is high enough they become a glaze that creates a soft, variegated texture across the surface of the objects. The process is sometimes unpredictable and a great deal of training is required before it can be mastered. Roehm discovered this firing technique while in school and liked the effects so much that she made it an integral part of her style.

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