My first teapot by Jan Pavek is a the little grey one pictured below. It was a long anticipated purchase, which started when I chanced upon his sold out teapots online at Klasek Tea's website www.darjeeling.cz. After an agonizing 6 months wait before his teapots became available again, that batch of his teapots on Klasek Tea's website was sold out in 1 or 2 days! I only got one because I stalked the website almost everyday! If you are as intrigued as me, do follow Jan Pavek on facebook and instagram!
So when I had to be in Europe, a trip was arranged to Prague to meet up with The Potter. He arrived with his then fiancee now wife Bara, and we headed to the nearby park for some tea! Along with the 2 big thermal flask of hot water, he brought a selection of teas, as he was worried I had a specific preference of tea. For that occasion, a new tea cloth was sought out and bought to complete the tea table. Thoughtful and considerate with an attention to details, that surely explains the beautiful tea ceramics he creates!
We spoke further about how he came to be a tea potter. So he first loved tea, because he simply loved drinking tea and sharing moments with his loved ones and his friends. When he started learning pottery, he immediately gravitated to make teaware. No wonder they are all well sized for kung fu brewing! And did I mention he is a self taught potter?!
I shared that I just started learning to make pottery, and he suggested that we should exchange teapots! To which I replied that he must be joking since I am a newbie potter and he replied very earnestly that he was serious. It dawned on me that Jan's love for tea and pottery is so pure that he doesn't think it a bad deal in such an exchange of teapots between friends (even if mine is ugly!).
He brought along some of his favourite not-for-sale pieces just to show me! The teapot below is the one he was brewing tea with! It was a proud and beautiful teapot that suffered a broken handle and was given a new life with a wooden handle Jan carved. And now a prized possession of Jan's.
And this is the most BEAUTIFUL matcha pot I have ever seen! No exageration here! The body is made of stoneware and contrasted stunningly by the lid made of glazed white porcelain.
This is Jan and Bara's favorite teabowl because it reminds them of the universe. I definitely see nebula and stars in this one!
Jan fires all his pieces in an anagama kiln, and explained that the beautiful colours from each piece is dependent on 2 factors.
1. The clay colour, which forms the base colour of each piece.
2. Ash from the burning wood falls on the pieces to create smears and hues of different colors. He used different wood in his kiln, among them oak wood, apple wood and pear wood.
Jan feels that he just only made the form of the pieces with clay, and he credits the beautiful colours created by the ash glazes to nature!
I am sure everybody has experienced when pictures doesn't always capture the essence of the real scene or object. It was frustrating trying to capture this piece because the crackle, glitter and shimmer is so lively and there was no way that could be recreated in a photo!
Because the ash fall and the flames are random, a woodkiln fired piece has different faces from different angle.
So much so that the two sides for this piece almost look as if they belong to different teapots! Jan also has a knack for making beautifully simple and elegant shapes for his teapot.
And check out this gorgeous dark set! It reminds me of Korean Onggi!
When we spoke then at the end of June, Jan and Bara were about to get married. They were also in process of building their very own anagama kiln. By now, they are officially Mr and Mrs Pavek! Congratulations Jan and Bara!
Looking forward to more beautiful tea moments and tea wares!
About all things Tea
Hello! My name is Hongyuan!