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carving a tea scoop

Yesterday our tea circle had the privilege of attending a workshop by Walter Hahn, a visiting master crafter who carves chashaku, the bamboo tea scoops used in Japanese tea ceremony. First he talked about choosing good bamboo, splitting it, and bending it. The "blanks" he brought for us to carve had already been through these steps. The paring knife I brought turned out to be not a bad tool for the job, in the absence of real woodcarving gear. Emery boards were helpful too. After two or so hours of carving, some people had almost finished, others made decent progress, bamboo shavings littered the carpet, and no one had suffered any acute injury. Success! Here you can see the current state of my carving alongside a generic chashaku (there is no Platonically ideal tea scoop; the lack of 'flaws' or personality in the cheap commercial one I call generic is not to be strived for).

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
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radhardened
Nov. 15th, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
The guy who makes them seemed to prefer a wide chisel for the coarse work and a Swiss army knife for the finer work.
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terrapingardens
Nov. 15th, 2005 12:33 pm (UTC)
Very cool! When Sarah went to Japan in 2002 she hooked up with an old friend of her father's who lives there. He and his Japanese wife were restoring an old house, and he/they teach traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Even he found it ironic that an American was helping to hold on to Japanese traditions.
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