An Exceptional Raku Tea Bowl by Sugimoto Sadamitsu


A master work by one of the top artisans of the late 20th century—the result of techniques perfected over centuries by dedicated craftsmen residing in districts in and around Kyoto. This black Raku-style tea bowl produced by Sugimoto Sadamitsu beautifully exemplifies the essence of “wabi-cha” or the philosophy of finding beauty and deep philosophic meaning in rustic simplicity.

Sugimoto (b. 1935) is one of the most important Shigaraki potters alive today and continues to create master works at the ripe old age of 86. Originally a resident of Tokyo, when he was 33 he moved to Shigaraki where he started creating high-quality tea-ware implements and soon became well-known for his exquisite tea bowls fashioned in the style of early Raku masters. A devotee of Zen and a lover of tea, Sugimoto is able to create tea bowls that are not just attractive, pleasant to hold in the hand, and a joy to drink from; he produces pieces that subtly transform the spaces they inhabit. A true master of his art, he has been widely exhibited in Japan and in the US and has won a number of awards. Today his works are held in collections around the world including: The Tokyo National Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Pavilion for Japanese Art.

In very good condition, this masterfully crafted tea bowl is 4.5 inches at its widest point (11.3 cm) and stands 3.2 inches tall (8.2 cm). Sugimoto’s signature can be seen etched on the base and it comes housed in its original wood box signed and sealed by the artist. One of Sugimoto’s most exceptional pieces, it also includes a second outer wood box and a silk pouch for added protection and ornamentation.