Upcoming Events



Crafted from the Earth:

The Rugged Beauty of Shigaraki Ceramics

Curated and organized by

Japanese art historian, Meher McArthur

November 3 , 2018 - January 13, 2019

9:30 am - 6:00 pm (Mon. - Sat.)

Shumei Hall Gallery (MAP)

Opening Reception: November 3 from 2 pm to 5 pm

During the reception, traditional Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations incorporating high-quality Shigaraki tea bowls will be held at 3pm and 4pm at a cost of $10 per person, and will include handmade, organic wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets). Free to observe. RSVPs are required for the tea ceremony and can be made by calling the Shumei Hall at 626-584-8841.

The Japanese tea ceremony involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, or powdered green tea. In Japanese, the tea ceremony is called chanoyu or sado/chado, while the art of its performance is called (o)temae. Zen Buddhism was a primary influence in the development of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Tea ceremonies can be held in an informal tea gathering chakai (tea gathering) and a formal tea gathering chaji (tea event). A chakai is a relatively simple course of hospitality that includes confections, thin tea, and perhaps a light meal. A chaji is a much more formal gathering, usually including a full-course kaiseki meal followed by confections, thick tea, and thin tea. A chaji can last up to four hours.


This exhibition is part of the AxS Festival, a regional celebration of art and science, based in Pasadena and surrounding communities. It has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Gordon Brodfuehrer, Wilson Grabill, Wakae Nakamoto, the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, and Japan Foundation, Los Angeles.

Shigaraki, located in Shiga prefecture close to the ancient capital of Kyoto, is one of Japan’s oldest kiln centers, and has produced stoneware ceramics since the 12th century. Shigaraki wares derive much of their character from the local silica-rich clay sourced from the bed of nearby Lake Biwa. The clay is also rich in iron, which gives the body its warm orange tone, and feldspar, which bursts out onto the surface during firing and creates a characteristic rough texture. During high-temperature firings in anagama (single-chambered sloping kilns), the wood used to fuel the kilns creates ash that lands on the surfaces of the objects and creates patches of natural brown and green glaze. All of these chemical factors in the creation of these ceramics resulted in warm, rustic wares, seemingly born organically from the earth. Though these ceramics were originally utilitarian, their natural beauty made them highly prized by tea masters as wares for the tea ceremony, and since the 16th century, tea bowls, jars, dishes, vases and other vessels from the Shigaraki kilns have been one of Japan’s most beloved and collected ceramics.


A x S Festival: City as Wunderkammer

November 2 - November 11



This pottrey exhibition is presented as part of A x S Festival: City as Wunderkammer.


Other Information about the Shumei Arts Council


Contact Information to Shumei Arts Council

Mailing address: 2430 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91107

Tel: 626 584 8841

E-mail: jane@shumeiarts.org