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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tea-bowl for Suzy Lanza, #15 of 36 "The Soul Cup"

     "Who will take this Shino bowl,
      And then for tea will pour in soul."

At last we arrive at Bowl #15. My friend Suzy Lanza jumped at the number 15, without seeing the cup. I hope she likes it.

The number 15 is enclosed by a quadruplet of primes, 11, 13, 17, and 19 (15 lies in the middle). All prime quadruplets (except for two - can you guess them?) are multiples of 15.

15 is the magic sum of a 3rd order (3 rows, 3 columns) normal magic square, meaning that all the numbers in any row, column or diagonal add up to 15:

(image: Wiki)

15 is the atomic number of phosphorus, which at one time was present in matches, along with sulphur.  Sulphur is the next element after phosphorus, making the two a kind of 'incendiary couplet', for fireworks and other displays of joyousness in celebration of revolutions.

Phosphorus is what glows in the sea as we swim or splash about, particularly in the Pacific.

Bone-ash, which contains phosphorus, is an essential ingredient in Shino glazes, and high fired pottery. So here we give thanks to the number 15, and phosphorus, because without them I wouldn't be able to make this stuff.

This is a whitish Shino-glazed bowl, with a bit of a drawing, and a storm of crystals starting on the far left and going around in back, still grey, white, creme. Lovely inside.

This process is really making me look harder at these things. I'm understanding fire, clay, glaze.

This project is an attempt to give away 36 tea-bowls, a performance piece. I'm seeing how many people will follow through on a cup of tea. 


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