Western Art – Purism – Cubism Stretched!

Purism – The History

Purism, an extension of Cubism founded by two artists, was a short-lived diverse painting style that emerged after the First World War. The two artists were French Cubist painter Amedee Ozenfant (1886-1966) and Swiss architect, writer, & painter Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (also known as Le Corbusier – 1887-1965). They were introduced to each other through a common friend, the French Cubist painter Fernand Leger (1881-1955). Both artists shared an avid interest of Cubism, to be portrayed in absolute form and in an orderly fashion. In 1918, Ozenfant and Le Corbusier wrote a manifesto titled ‘Apres le Cubisme,’ which meant ‘after Cubism.’ It was through this book that they shared their views and introduced the basic principles of Purism for the first time.

The Details

Ozenfant and Le Corbusier disapproved of the use of Cubism in Decorative Arts, which was a common practice then. They wished to create a more systematic and fundamental art style for functional purposes. And, they created Purism. These artists believed there was no place for fantasy, passion, or intensity in art. Purism followed a structured approach. Machine Age highly influenced it. Purists’ works generally had clear strong lines with flat geometric forms. Their human figures were beautiful and proportional with the right coloring, but they lacked emotion or softness. Often depictions seemed robotic in spite of their extensive use of pure vibrant colors. Purist paintings were generally harmonious, yet impersonal and had an aura of detachment to them.

The Artworks

Le Corbusier’s ‘Still Life’ (1920) at Museum of Modern Art and Amedee Ozenfant’s ‘Guitar and Bottle’ at Guggenheim Museum are the typical examples of Purism. ‘The City’ (1919) and ‘Three Women’ (1921) are two of Fernand Leger’s famous Purist works.

The Artists

Ozenfant and Le Corbusier were not just the main protagonists of Purism, but perhaps the only ones of their time, as the movement was not a success. In 1925, Ozenfant and Le Corbusier wrote a French book called ‘La Peinture Moderne’ to promote the theories of Purism. The book was later published in English with the title ‘The Foundations of Modern Art.’ They practiced Purism diligently from 1918 to 1925. Later, Le Corbusier devoted himself to architecture. His Purist theories had a major influence on the modern architecture. Fernand Leger was also an enthusiast of Purism. Some other proponents who were inclined towards Purism in the later years were Czech artist Bedrich Feuerstein (1892-1936), the American Precisionist painters, and the ‘Group of Estonian Artists’ from Tallinn.

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Makler Heidelberg

Source by Annette Labedzki

What is Contemporary Tattooing?

In modern times, the art of tattooing has become largely youth-driven, dominated by young tattooists with training in fine art and culture. Their clients are similarly young and often adorned with bold loud designs on their arms, hands, legs, and bodies as well as multiple piercing.

Contemporary tattooing first came about during the hippy 1970s when anti-establishment youths began to wear tattoos as a symbol of resistance to law-abiding, middle-class values. Coincidentally, at the same time new tattoo artists appeared equipped with different types of training.

Before, it was typical for new tattooists to apprentice with an experienced tattooist, learning the ropes the slow way. But with this slew of counter-cultural sentiments, many new and young tattooists simply ordered a machine and some basic supplies and got started on their own.

With their presence, new tattoo images began to emerge which appealed very much to this younger, rowdier audience. These tattoo designs were mostly inspired by “exotic” cultures such as Japan, Borneo, Samoa and North America rather than stemming from traditional sources like North American and European designs.

The rise of contemporary tattooing is turning unstoppable. Long unpopular and stigmatized in the West, tattooing has been given a new positive spin that is more associated with well-respected cultural traditions.

Slowly and steadily, modern tattooists and promoters of tattooing successfully reintegrated tattooing into modern Western society. Tattoos shifted from a mark of stigma used by bikers, criminals, gangsters, and the military to a mark of individual expression. A new elevated status was thus born.

Over time, contemporary tattooing brought about two lasting and significant changes in the world of tattooing. First, the general tattoo designs changed radically by moving from traditional badge-like designs that have been common for hundreds of years in the West to non-Western designs which target large swathes of skin.

Second, contemporary tattooists started to give preference to customized tattoo designs which were created by them rather than use tattoo flash or something taken off the wall of a tattoo studio. Tattoo customers are strongly encouraged to design their own tattoos with the assistance of these new-fangled tattooists.

Ironically, the transformation of our views on tattooing is possible because a tattoo’s historic position as a stigmatized sign was never really fixed, and eventually the negative status of a tattoo eroded over time, giving rise to contemporary tattooing.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Kumcheong Tang

Early Japanese Clay Pottery Art

Of all the different types of artifacts which are found in archeological sites, ceramic items are surely the most important. Clay pottery art artifacts are durable, and can last for tens of thousands of years in virtually the same condition in which they were first manufactured. Unlike stone tools, ceramic artifacts are completely personalized by their makers shaped from clay, decorated, and purposely fired. Figurines fashioned from clay are known from the very earliest human settlements but vessels made of clay and suitable for carrying water and the storing, cooking, and serving of food were first made at least thirteen thousand years ago. Shard remains of some of the earliest known ceramic vessels in the world were found in southwestern Japan’s Kamino site. This site has a stone-tool assemblage typical of the late Paleolithic. This is known in Japanese archeology as Pre-ceramic, in order to distinguish it from the Lower Paleolithic cultures of China and Europe. At the Kamino site, in addition to potshards, numerous microblades, spearheads, wedge shaped microcores, and other artifacts have been found. These are similar to assemblages found at Japanese Pre-ceramic sites dating between fourteen and sixteen thousand years ago. Moreover, this layer of occupation is located beneath a Jomon occupation securely dated to twelve thousand years ago.

Small quantities of ceramic shards with a bean impression decoration have also been found in some half dozen Mikoshiba-Chojukado archeological sites in southwest Japan. These also date to the Pre-ceramic period. Typical of pots manufactured before the introduction of the clay potter wheel, they are bag-shaped and pointed at the bottom. Sites at which these shards have been found include the Ushirono and Odaiyamamoto sites and the Senpukuji Cave. As is the case also with shards from the Kamino site, they are quite rare, which suggests that while this technology was known at the time of the late Pre-ceramic cultures, it was not that useful to their lifestyle as nomads.

By contrast, the Jomon peoples employed ceramics to a large extent. The Japanese word Jomon means cord mark, since this pottery was often decorated with cord marks. Jomon is the term used to describe hunting-gathering cultures which existed in Japan from about 13,000 to about 2,500 years before the present. At this time migrating populations from China brought full time wet-rice agriculture to Japan. For the entire ten thousand years of Jomon culture, ceramic vessels were used for rice storage, water-carrying, and cooking. Jomon style ceramics are identified with the distinctive patterns of lines embossed into the bag-shaped vessels. Later on, as is also the case in ceramic objects obtained from contemporary Chinese archeological sites, highly decorated vessels with ceramic colors were also made by the Jomon people. Thus, as early as ten thousand years before the present, the use of ceramics was known in Japan and China. By five thousand years ago, ceramic use had spread by diffusion or had been reinvented everywhere on the globe.

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Makler Heidelberg

Source by Alice Lane

Martial Arts Book Review – Taking It to the Street – Making Your Martial – by Marc Animal MacYoung

I just finished reading Marc “Animal” Mac Young’s, “Taking It to the Street: Making Your Martial Art Street Effective,” and found it to be the best book that Marc has written. This book focuses primarily on the principles behind the techniques in order to take that which you have already learned and either adapting it to practical use as a legitimate street effective self-defense technique, or discarding it altogether.

If you’ve read any of Marc’s previous books, you can tell that he has really progressed in his writing and philosophy concerning the martial arts and their benefits, compared to a lot of his earlier works. A lot of what Marc discusses in this book is a direct reflection on one of the primary principles that the late Bruce Lee was so adamant about, “Absorb what is useful and discard the rest.”

One thing that should be made clear is that every martial art and “almost” every technique is effective within the context of its purported purpose. Just because a technique is taught in a certain systems curriculum, does not mean that it was intended to be used in a self-defense encounter. This is one point that Marc and I tend to agree on. This is not so much the fault of the student, but more often the instructor who either doesn’t know or fails to realize the importance of teaching the principles behind the technique instead of just teaching the technique itself and leaving its use up to the uninformed minds of the students or at best its historical context.

Marc is arguably one of the best people out there to learn the nuances and subtleties of the street and the ability to operate within it with a minimum of problems. His grasp of the intricacies and principles behind the execution of a lot of techniques is superb and well worth your time and attention. My only complaint and this is and always will be a sore spot with me, is his seemingly lack of regard towards the use of kicks in a fight and kickers in general.

Now I know that a lot of that stems from my own personal passion for kicking and my own ability to use it effectively on the street. I have used kicking countless times in numerous situations with great effectiveness. In all the years that I have been in situations where confrontations occurred, I have only used kicks in maybe 1 out of every 4 encounters. Not that I couldn’t have used it in more, it just wasn’t practical or necessary. I suspect that this will probably always be a point of contention between Marc and I, kind of like the old Lite Beer commercial, “Tastes Great, Less Filling.”

Marc covers so much solid and pertinent information that it would be almost an insult to try and review everything that this book has to offer in anything less than several pages. Therefore, I am going to keep this review short and to the point. This book should be required reading for any and all martial artists regardless of style, purpose, or affiliation. This book and the information contained therein are invaluable to anyone who wants to improve their abilities to survive the realities of a violent encounter on the street.

I highly recommend this book and am proud to include it in my own personal library.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Shawn Kovacich

Japanese Tattoos – A Brief History

The traditional Japanese tattoos known as ‘horimono’ became very popular among the people of the 18th century or the Edo period. The most popular choices for the designs of the tattoos were the images from traditional water color paintings, picture books and woodcuts. Understanding the history and background is as important to experience and enjoy the Japanese horimono tattoos as it is to preserve their traditions.

The Edo period was like a period of Cultural Revolution for the Japanese. There were many changes that happened during that period at different levels of the society. A different class of people grew up out of the ordinary people of Japan, who found lot of interests in fashion, comedy, drama, novels, songs, and theatre. So, a unique and separate culture began to grow up.

As the society of Edo progressed, the ordinary people began to take pride in activities of fashion. Gradually, the Edo working class people began to imitate the heroes from the folk stories they used to read in the books (especially the picture books) and comics and other artworks as popularized by the famous woodblock artist Kuniyoshi. Getting highly impressed from these artistic works, the people began to tattoo themselves ritualistically and painfully with the designs based on folklore, such as dragons, Chinese lions, and giant snakes, and also with religious figures with the help of sharp needles for inserting pressed charcoal ink under their skin.

The people who carried out the process of tattooing were mostly the woodblock artists who simply had to exchange their wood-carving blades for long and sharp needles. With time, some of these people became so much involved with tattooing that common people began to accept them as tattoo specialists. This is how the unique Japanese traditional body art form, horimono was formed.

Today, it is very common to have tattoo conventions in Japan as well as in the West. But to have such conventions in the Edo period in Japan around 150 years earlier is itself a strong indicator of the Japanese having a long and rich history of tattoo culture.

Even though there are no photographic record of their works and designs, lot of books are available today which describe the life and work of many tattoo artists of the Japanese Edo period.

One very famous tattooist from the Edo period is Horiuno. Horiuno was born in 1843. He became a tattooist at the age of 20. But before beginning to work full time from his age of 40, he travelled extensively throughout Japan, going from place to place like Osaka, Kyoto and Shizuoka. However, he continued doing his business well into his seventies and much of his work can be seen even today. Most of his customers used to work in the local construction and manufacturing industries, and in 1912, some of these people of the Kanda area formed the Kanda Choyu-kai, meaning “Tattoo Friends Society of Kanda”, and after another 10 years, the society was extended to outside the Kanda area, and formed the Edo Choyu-kai.

All the members of this group, who are mostly labourers such as construction workers, carpenters and plasterers, meet every year at places like Ojinanushi-no-taki and Marukotamagawaen, take part in mass outdoor banquets, or in festivals such as the Asakusa Sanja-matsuri, and present their intricate and extensive body art tattoos with pride.

Horiuno was known as the most talented tattooist from Japan and was famous throughout Japan and also overseas. However, at that time there were many other equally skilful tattooists in Japan, such as Horikane, Kyuta, Horiiwa, and Nekokichi.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Robert T Jones

Interior Painter – Different Painting Techniques

When an interior painter paints the inside of the home they generally use one basic color that is applied using a roller or brush in a flat finish. If you want to add a different flair to your home there are other interior painting techniques that can be used. For example, a faux finishes produce looks of natural items like marble or stone.


These painted scenes cover an entire wall in the room. This type of interior painting technique is used in a child’s room. Sometimes they will cover all four walls in a child’s room featuring simple shapes done in bright colors. When an interior painter paints a mural in other rooms of the home, they limit them to one wall and are more sophisticated. One type of common mural is of nature scenes.

Decorative painting

With these techniques, an interior painter will apply swirls of paint using a brush to create ocean waves, flowers, and other motifs. They can be used on the walls or in borders. Decorative painting can be applied to the backsplash tiles instead of the walls behind the stove or sink area.

• Stenciling-this is done by dabbing color using sponges or brushes inside a cutout shape. This will create a pattern when you remove the stencil. This method is used mainly in country-themed homes. The stencils are done in the middle or along the top of the wall as a border or even on stair risers. Stenciling does not need artistic skill to create the images. All you need to do is spread the color within the cutout shape on the stencil.

• Striping-this is filling in the color within the lines of a particular space. The interior painter will place heavy-duty masking tape in straight lines on the wall. The farther apart the tape is placed the wider the stripes will be. After the wall has been painted, the masking tape is removed, revealing clear stripes. If you want to put colors in you can put masking tape on both sides of the stripe and paint between the strips of masking tape. When you remove the strips of masking tape, you will have a colored stripe between the major colors of the wall.

• Sponging-this is a very simple technique to add decoration to your walls. All the interior painter has to do is dip a sponge in the paint and stamp it on the walls. To give the mottled results more depth different shades of the same color in dark, light, and medium tones. When doing this painting technique you should use a type of porous or natural sponge so you get a strong texture.

Use these techniques to add your personal touch to the room.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Lora Davis

The Golden Spiral of Consciousness – Spiritual Inspiration and Enlightenment Through Art and Science

Flower of Life and Spiritual Transcendence    

The golden ratio or spiral is a unique relation existing in the universe between the whole and the part and has been in our consciousness for over 4000 years. Out of the golden ratio rises the golden spiral, whose familiar coil shape can be found everywhere in nature, such as in the structure of our DNA and fingerprints, sunflowers and seashells, storm clouds and tornadoes. Even a star cluster nebula like the Milky Way. The golden spiral, also called the flower of life, is a twirling pattern that forms out from a rectangle which has the golden ratio. What this means is–when this rectangle is squared, it leaves a smaller rectangle behind, and this smaller rectangle also has the same golden ratio as the original and when this is squared this also leaves a smaller rectangle behind and this continues on until the shapes become so small you can’t see them anymore. In other words, it goes on forever.

When you connect a curve through the opposite corners of these concentric rectangles, you form the golden spiral and the fact that it shows up in many growth patterns of plants, animals and even whole galaxies, makes us wonder if this unique shape is not the pattern of life. The principles of the golden spiral can also be seen in the design of buildings and architecture, as well as in art and literature. Golden proportions are to be found in music and even light. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese all depict golden ratio in their artwork. The Egyptians were probably the first to combine mathematics with art in the design of their pyramids. Pythagoras discovered the golden proportions of the human body and this has been portrayed by artists throughout the history of Greek art. Leonardo De Vinci found inspiration in the mathematics of art and nature and is almost certain he painted to conform to the golden ratio–especially the proportions set out in the Mona Lisa. 

Literature can draw on the golden ratio in the structure of words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and pictures. Just as we see the existence of the spiral in our fingerprints and galaxies and in the creation of pyramids and paintings, the golden ratio also appears inside pages of a book, including the design of the cover, and this can be incredibly awe inspiring for the reader. This pattern of nature can be seen inside many art forms and has a universally stimulating effect on the mind. Enlightenment may be part of this pattern–a communication that is connecting consciousness through the language of the Universe.

Look at the soul as being a bridge between your mind and the intangible essence of your spirit, and that it is gently guiding your mind through a doorway of transcendence to a higher plane of awareness. By bringing the flower of life to words and pictures it can spiral your consciousness to a realization greater than itself. The golden spiral can spiral you to soul awakening. The flower of life transcends itself from the physical-mathematical form by which it is more commonly known (sacred geometry), into a spiritual equivalent we call unconditional love. This little flower of life transforms into the pattern of love. Truth seekers, poets and prophets teach love as being at the centre of all things. When your soul connects consciousness with the golden spiral you become love. Love is the infinite pattern of the Universe. And so are you. 

Our world needs to undergo an incredible transformation. We must heal our emotions and weary bodies. We should sincerely connect to spirit and love–the intrinsic nature in everything.

Most cultures throughout history, from Aztec to the Celtic, have documented a significant correlation with physical form and spirituality, clearly expressed through their art and sacred geometry, like the mandala; these beautiful, mesmerizing patterns bearing ritual and spiritual significance. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung identified with the mandala saying it was a representation of the unconscious self and believed these patterns were a means towards wholeness in personality. The discovery of the Mandelbrot Set, named after Benoit Mandelbrot, is a collection of numbers that form fractals.

These are objects that display self-similarity at various scales, and so we can journey into the wondrous world of fractal geometry, gliding through never-ending self-similarity repeating patterns arising from a simple definition. Quantum physicists show us that the substance of our reality is shaped, if not created, by our own consciousness. Both old and new worlds of thought now come together as science greets spirituality in a uniform field of thought. The Universe speaks to us and we ought to listen.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Robin Clark

How To Buy Paintings Online For Your Home

Your home is your sacred space, and it is necessary to decorate it well. This is necessary so that you look around your home and like what you see; it gives you that sense of being at peace in your own home.

Home decor is very important for your family too. Everything in your house should give you a welcome feel. This is also true for guests who visit your home. After all, you do want them to like the kind of home that you have. The artwork exists at the very core of home decor, and original canvas art can take your home to new heights. It gives a different outlook to your house.

It is rather easy to buy paintings online these days because there are so many sites to choose from. However, not all of them have the best galleries or paintings that they portray in their homes. So, this can get quite disappointing after a while, and it will be a waste of money too if you don’t know where to look for.

Things to consider before buying

You can easily find an online art gallery but finding one that is worth your time and money is difficult. But here are some things you should keep in mind before investing in canvas paintings or anything else.

• You should only buy what you love. At the end of the day, it is your home, and you will be staying there all the time. So, whether it is modern art paintings or even simply a painting of a waterfall on a blank wall. You should be passionate about what you choose. Many people choose paintings on canvas because of their old school texture and feel.

• If you are a genuine collector of art, then keep in mind the value of the art you purchase. Consider purchasing only from an original art gallery so that you can ensure its authenticity.

• Content should also be an important factor. Especially if you are an art enthusiast. What the painting is about and what it says to the world should also be important.

• When you go to any art gallery website, keep in mind the color scheme of your house and how well the artwork suits your general decor.

• Oil paintings are not very popular these days, but they can still be found online if you search the web long enough. You will need to skim through quite a few sites to find them.

The importance of art

Art is something that portrays your personality to the world whether you create art or simply display it in your home. It tells the world about the things you like, the things you are passionate about and the things that catch your eye. They are quite the conversation starter. So when you venture out to buy paintings, you should definitely look online first.

In the online store, you can find all the art you want. Whether you’re a collector, or want something original, or just looking for ideas to decorate your home, you can find everything you need if you find them in the right manner.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Yelena Dyumin

Tip on Pencil Portrait Drawing – Six Elements of Portrait Drawing

Drawing in general entails four distinct elements: line, value, texture, and form. In the special case of pencil portrait drawing we can refine the list of elements to six: form, proportion, anatomy, texture, value, and planes.

In this article we will give a detailed description of each of those pencil portrait drawing elements.

(1) Form or Shape – The illusion of three-dimensionality in drawing and art in general has been central to Western art for centuries. The carving out of form using line, structure, and value was a vital component of almost all Renaissance art.

On the other hand, oriental and lots of contemporary art emphasize flatness of form although this period in contemporary art is drawing to a close.

All form in drawing can initially be reduced to 4 basic 3-dimensional solids: bricks, cones, cylinders, and spheres. The proper use of these forms together with perspective and value leads to the illusion of 3-dimensionality even though the drawing is, in actuality, located on a 2-dimensional sheet of drawing paper.

In portrait drawing, the arabesque of the head, the square structure of the head, and all components within the head (nose, eyes, etc.) are all 2- and 3-dimensional forms that contribute to the overall illusion of 3-dimensionality

(2) Proportion – includes all sizing and placements of form. Proportion refers to the concept of relative length and angle size.

Proportion gives answers to these two questions:

1. Given a defined unit of length, how many units is a particular length?

2. How large is this particular angle? Answering these two questions consistently correctly will yield a drawing with the correct proportions and placements of all form.

(3) Anatomy – refers essentially to the underlying structures of bone and muscle of the head.

It is important to learn as much as you can about anatomy. There are many books available on anatomy for artists. For a portrait artist it is particularly important to understand the anatomy of the head, neck, and shoulders.

Anatomy studies unfortunately include a lot of Latin terms which makes it somewhat difficult to grasp. The idea is to study slowly and a little bit at a time because it can be quite frustrating.

(4) Texture – in portrait drawing expresses the range of roughness or smoothness of the forms. The rough texture of a concrete walk way, for example, is quite different from the smoothness of a window.

There exist several techniques and tricks to help you with the creation of the correct textures. Creating textures is an area in drawing that gives you the opportunity to be very creative and to use every possible type of mark you can make with a pencil. In portrait drawing textures occur in places such as hair, clothing, and skin.

(5) Value – refers to the variations in light or dark of the pencil marks and hatchings. Powerful portrait drawings employ the full palette of contrasting lights and darks. Beginning artists often fail to achieve this full “stretch” of value, resulting in timid, washed-out drawings.

(6) Planes – produce the sculptural sensibility of a portrait. The head has numerous planes each with a different direction and therefore with a different value.

The idea is to think of the surface of the head as a collection of discrete planes with a certain direction relative to the light source. You should try to identify each of the planes and draw its correct shape and value.

The correct handling of planes contributes very much to the likeness of your subject as well as the illusion of 3-dimensionality.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Remi Engels

Tea, Spirituality and The Japanese Tea Ceremony: An Interview with Michael Ricci

Michael Ricci was weeding the Tea House garden when I arrived for our interview. We sat in front of the little tea “hut” at Buddhist-inspired Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado where in just one hour I would scoot through the tiny doorway on my knees to participate in my first Japanese Tea Ceremony along with his students and other newcomers.

Michael found the Tea Ceremony (Chado) through Japanese Zen Buddhism. “I started reading about Zen and I kept coming across references to tea. I called up Naropa and they happened to be offering their first class on it through the extended studies program. There was one position left. I came and immediately fell in love with it.” He adds, “It seemed like the perfect way to understand more about Zen and start doing something contemplative alongside my meditation. It was a spiritual path that made sense to me.”

“Everything the Japanese do turns into an art, and that’s the way they treat tea. Keeping the tradition alive is serious, and the rules are very important to them. The Japanese Tea Ceremony incorporates almost all of the traditional Japanese arts–flower arranging, calligraphy, laquerware, ceramics, bamboo, wood. I’m an artist so I just fell in love with all of it.”

Michael spent two years studying Tea with Hobart Bell, head of the Boulder Zen Center before being accepted to study at Urasenke Headquarters in Kyoto under the guidance of 15th Generation Grand Tea Master of the Urasenke lineage of tea, which is the largest practicing tea lineage in the world. Here he was immersed in traditional Japanese culture and etiquette, learning all facets of Japanese Tea. But he had only scratched the surface after one year of study, so he stayed another year and a half. After that, he says, “I moved into a Zen Buddhist temple and trained alongside the monks. I didn’t take vows, but I lived the life of a monk for 6 months.”

It is from this humble state of mind that Michael shares his knowledge through his tea classes and his art.

“There are two ways to enjoy tea between host and guest. The first, Chaji, is a formal several-course meal that can last four to five hours. The abbreviated version, called Chakai, is simply a sweet and a bowl of tea.”

Michael was teaching the day I was there, so each of his students performed the short version tea ceremony one by one over four hours’ time.

There are no distractions inside the teahouse. Michael explains, “You’re sitting on your knees in a very small room for 4 hours in a very intimate atmosphere. The dialogue is stripped down. Everything is designed to keep focus on the moment and to completely forget about the world outside of the teahouse.”

“The little door, called nijiriguchi , was designed for everybody to bow their heads as they enter the tea room. Shoguns and Samari might be sitting next to peasants. They would have to take off their swords and leave them outside, bow their heads and humble themselves because inside the tea room everybody is the same.” Nowadays, he says, we take off our rings, jewelry and watches. “Anything that says ‘This is Me,’ or that takes us outside of the tearoom. Tea Ceremony is a timeless realm in a bottle.”

The ceremony is an expression of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility through each deeply symbolic gesture–a graceful choreography between host and guest.

Koicha is abowl of ‘thick tea,’ made with a lot of Matcha (powdered green tea) and less hot water. One bowl is shared between all 3 to 5 guests. The host serves the tea to ‘First Guest,’ (who is not a beginner and can model tea etiquette). First Guest bows to Second Guest and says in Japanese “Excuse me for taking my tea before you.” Second Guest bows, too. First Guest drinks their share, turns and wipes the bowl’s edge in a specific way with a paper napkin, and then passes it to Second Guest. Michael says, ” Koicha is the most intimate part of the gathering, sharing the bowl like that.” An initiation of sorts, I thought.

‘Thin Tea,’ Usucha , is more water and less tea, but only about three and a half sips. “It’s just enough to quench your thirst. It’s powder and it’s not steeped. It is whisked,” Michael explains. ” During ‘Thin Tea’ the host makes each guest a bowl of tea from the same bowl. They each take turns first eating their sweet then drinking the tea.” First Guest receives the bowl of tea, drinks it, passes it back to the host who wipes it, cleans it, and gives the next guest their bowl of tea in that same bowl. A watery sweet made of bean paste was served to refresh us that summer day.

Soon each guest in turn examined the utensils–scoop, bowl and whisk–and inspected the bright green valley in the bowl from which a portion of Matcha had been skillfully scooped by the host when the tea was prepared. As the host retreated to the tiny kitchen, the conversation between guests turned to appreciation of the warm weather, the tea, the teahouse. My body tingled with a feeling of wellbeing. Was it the L-theanine in the green tea? Or a result of paying close attention to every movement?

My mind arrived at stillness, like tea leaves settling on the bottom of a cup.


Michael Ricci is a tea practitioner who teaches the Japanese Tea Ceremony and its related arts and cultural influences. He studied the art and craft of making tea utensils in the traditional Japanese pottery style called Raku, invented in Japan over 400 years ago specifically for the tea ceremony. He makes tea utensils from clay, bamboo and wood, which you can see during one of his classes or special event tea ceremonies. He has lectured and held demonstrations at pottery studios, universities and art organizations along the Front Range in Colorado, USA. Contact Michael at (970) 530-0436.

copyright 2005 Terry Calamito

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Terry Calamito

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