Monday, December 18, 2017

Creating alternate tea storage ideas.

Lead up / backstory ……………

It’s probable ever since we had Tea we have had a need for Tea Caddies. Growing up in Scotland and literally having a score of Aunties, tea caddies were ubiquities and varied. Indian black tea was the primary tea being stored and served.

In addition we had a fair umber of Hong Kong Chinese families settled in an around Ayrshire. Going to Primary and Secondary school with the kids of Chinese family's I had early exposure to Guangdong / Hong Kong – Cantonese style of tea culture. Needless to say Scottish tea culture (stretching the use of “Culture”)  is vastly different to those of China … pause for nostalgic laugh

Having a sizable collection of Chinese teas allows me the opportunity to amass a number of tea caddies.  I have a thought of using the design and proportions of a Buddhist Alter, proportioned for use in the home, as a starting point for a new caddie.

Yes we are inching toward the metric system SmileCouple of examples below.  More as the endeavor progresses.buddhist-altarbuddhist-altar-051

Thursday, December 07, 2017

New Woodblock Carver …

David Bull is the go-to guy for Japanese Woodblock Prints and Carving. Recently a collaboration between David and an American artist, Jed Henry, has introduced an English Carver / Printer: William Francis

ttps://   WEB Site:

Recently a print designed by Jed Henry, carved and printed by William Francis is available for sale in David’s Tokyo store and on Jed’s Web site:


William has posted on his instagram site a few pictures that wonderfully show the progression of carving a Key-Block.

fh1fh2fh3fh441OjiIGSdBLPhotograph of a print made by: Matsumura Shunsho in 1782

David Bull:   and  Live 8 am Tokyo time.

Three out of a bunch.

These three tools are all, now, very sharp, ready to use. The center tool is by Hirsch, my go-to favorite.

Hirsch Carving Tools

Europe's finest woodcarving tools. Manufactured in Germany continuously since 1780. Hand-forged of Germany's finest high carbon tool steel and tempered to a Rockwell hardness of 61.tcttsA bunch more (15) await their turn.ctinab

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Cutting Edge

Setting up to sharpen a number of dual bevel edge carving tools. Used for fine detail carving wood blocks. This is a little different than “standard” single bevel edge sharpening. I’ll be expanding on this over the next few posts.20171207_092009cup120171206_175851

The Hangi-to tool, the most useful and important tool in woodblock printmaking. (also called the kiridashi.  It is capable of cutting intricate, flowing lines that are at the heart of Japanese printmaking. All the outlines in the print are carved with this tool.

Single Bevel, Right-Handed Japanese carving tool.FourFW2imageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe back face of the tool has a Flat Face that may or may not be Hollow Ground (as above example)

Monday, December 04, 2017

Save the environment … Use Bio-Degradable fuel

As we see, alternate fuel used for personal transport in not a new idea.16

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Just a little fishy …

Not what I had in mind.


Now this is more like it.fs

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A new (Six year old) Shu Pu-Erh on the menu

Yunnan Longrun Pu-erh Tea Cake-Chunhui (Year 2011, Shu Pu),357gnewpuerhAfter a couple of weeks and many infusions, I give this tea a strong recommendation. Nice strong rich tea with a interesting hint of licorice flavor, aroma is non assaulting but reassuring.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Mt. Fuji; Smoking, a rare event

A cool/cold mid-November morning, pictures by JaYoefujis1fujis2fujis3

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Postcard from Japan

antique postcard from Tokyo, JapanSC40770

                             Female Nude Seated in Water

水に裸女 Japanese Late Meiji era 1906
Ichijô Narumi (Japanese, 1877–1910), Publisher Japanese Postcard Club
1959-japanese-postcard-mail-carol-leigh                        1959 Japanese Postcard

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Morning contemplation

It is said; “A rest is as good as a change….”37

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Morning ablutions

Refreshing after a nights slumber .. on to face the day05

Hokusai  1802

Friday, November 10, 2017

Great start to the day

morningAs evening closes on a November day:47 (1) Hasui: Mt. Fuji from Kawai Bridge 1947

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Nap coming on

28Attribution: Hanko, July 10 1900

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Afternoon Tea

A respite well deserved … pacing is the key to steady

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ceremonial tea service .. 3 of 3

When it comes to Asian “Tea Ceremonies” I divide them into three (3) distinct regions; China Mainland, Taiwan and Japan. This not a complete representation, but it is my personal experiences they demonstrate the range to which tea making and serving extends.

Japan, demonstrates the highest level of importance to the adherence of ceremonial dictates. Simply stated: Ceremony first, tea taste secondary. Great importance is placed on the; tea growing, picking, processing and storage. San_Rafael_02Sausalito_03mejiitea

A woodblock print by Toyohara Chikanobu depicts a tea ceremony during the reign of the Meiji Emperor. At this time tea was part of etiquette training for women.

(2 of 3) Taiwan has a foot in both China and Japan when it comes to tea. I see interesting adaptations and personalizing in making and serving. Tea rises to the forefront with adaptable ceremonies.

My Taiwanese friend’s tea table.. a typical business meeting is centered around having tea and sharing ideas.IMG00045-20100723-1646Tea garden in Ping Lin Taiwan, home of the Tea Museum.DSC02233 High Mountain tea in Taiwan’s central mountain region near Mount SylviaDSC03650

(3 of 3) China Mainland, enjoys a fabulous diversity in the brewing, serving and sharing tea. The physical size and diversity of peoples in China plays into regional variations.  The common denominator: Tea is first and foremost.

Typical family/friends having tea.DSC01488Small tea shop in She Kou, ShenZhen.DSC01464Lee Hong makes tea for Paulo and myself.DSC01759Friends chat, drink tea & conduct business .. Zhang Mutou Zhen, Dongguant in ZMT 1 (1024x768)

Friday, October 06, 2017

A rare insight .. Poet's eye view


Frozen in time: The writing desk of poet and critic Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) at Shiki-an.

Shiki’s writing desk has a unique square cutout, designed to accommodate the scribe’s left leg, which, due to complications of his disease, he was unable to stretch out straight or fold beneath him.

Synopsis from Japan Times story by Kit Nagamura

正岡子規 Masaoka Shiki’s last portrait, December 24, 1900. Photo: 正岡明 Masaoka Akira

Masaoka Shiki’s was the pen-name of a Japanese author, poet, literary critic, and journalist in Meiji period Japan. His real name was Masaoka Tsunenori, but as a child he was called Tokoronosuke . Later, he changed his name to Noboru .MasaokaShiki1