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Thé: une ceremonie d'infusion - Aprille Best Glover - Renior Museum August thru October 2002

Tamae refers to the procedural formula or recipe for a tea ceremony. Yet in even in just Japanese tradition, there is no single formula for the making of tea. There are different tamae for different occasions, for different tea school and even for sitting in western style chairs. As different groups and cultures adopted and adapted the tea ceremony, it became more multifaceted and perhaps it isn't possible to speak of the ceremony in the singular.

Because this occidental tea ceremony is different from traditional teas the preparation and clean up each day are included in the detailed description below. Sponsored by the One World Foundation, each ceremony was free to the public but required a advanced reservation. Each was scheduled for 2:30 on the Renoir Museum grounds during the last two weeks of the exhibition (Oct 2002) and limited to no more than three persons at one time.

This occidental ceremony harkens back to the meditative chinese origins of tea and as well as towards the Japanese tea aesthetic wabi-sabi. This is a hommage rather an exact copy. Here you will find correspondances of elements to oriental ideas but the details themselves are strictly French in origin, inspired by the beauty of both the gardens of the Renoir Museum and Provence itself. These details form a toriawase distinctly gaelic.

Getting food ready


"Keiko toha ichi yori narai ju wo shiri ju yori keru motono sono ichi."
In the training of chanoyu, as you study and advance through each of the stages,

you must from time to time return to the very beginning.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

Getting Food Ready
  • Bake madelines - the artist learned to bake so that the fresh homemade madelines would grace the tea ceremony each day (recipe)
  • Make individual olive bowl and wrap
  • Put honey in pot and wrap and place in box
  • Wrap Utensils in clean ironed shifuku (cloth pouches for tea utensils) and load in trunk
  • Put wine in a cooler to keep chilled
  • Pack up trunk & load car

Setting up site


"Me mimo miyo mimi nimo fureyo kou wo kagite kotowo toitsutsu yoku gaten seyo."
Don't look with your eyes or cock your ears to listen, just dye your heart with Chanoyu.
Look with your eyes and listen with your ears, smell incense and grasp their meaning with questions.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

Setting Up Site
The area around the installation teahouse
in the gardens of the Renoir Museum
was arranged anew for each day's ceremony
  • Setting Up Water Basin (Tsukubai) photo left. Put out towel
    Put out water bowl - fill with mountain water
  • Brush and retrace pattern in sand
  • Rake for leaves trash, etc
  • Use clipper on plants as needed
  • Water as needed
  • Sprinkle water on rocks
  • Set up the Chiri-ana (debris pit)
  • Clean out waterjar /place laddle on open
    waterjar
  • Soak and fold Chakin (white linen)
  • Plus soak extra chakin for work trunk
  • Put out laddle, waste bowl & chakin & trivet,
    cushion for knees
Tsukabi (water basin) ready for guests to wash hands

Chiri-ana (debris pit). October 2002.
Detail. It was havest season the Renoir Garden was littered with olives
from the surrounding groves hence the number of olive in chiri-ana.


Setting up Fire


"Sumi okumo narai bakarini kakawarite yu no tagirazaru sumi ha kie zumi (sumi)."
Charcoal, though placed exactly according to teaching, is dead charcoal if it does not boil the water.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

  • Make pattern in ash with spoon in fire pit
  • Make channel for water sign
  • Pour out blue pattern (alchemic symbol for water) on to ash
  • Arrange charcoal over water sign
  • Arrange charcoal basket
  • Oil tea kettle
  • Hang on hool over fire pit


Welcome Guests


"Kansho ha dai to sho toni chu chu ni dai to itsutsu no kazu wo utsunari."
Strike the meal bell with five strokes: loud, soft, medium, medium, loud.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

Welcome Guests
  • Give short talk - Welcoming guests was a double challenge. Not only was it necessary to welcome and explain the different kind of tea ceremony but also to do so in a another language (french). Speaking thus, it was useful to have a prepared written speech (french text here pdf) Usually the welcome ended by answering a few questions extemporaneously.
  • Give brochures and depart out of sight
  • Ring with meal bell with stone (dora)
  • Guests wash hands, This is a symbolic act. In dipping our hands in clean water, we cast out all our everyday cares and worries. One enters the teahouse purely and wholly attentive to this moment rather than either the future or the past.
  • Guests take off their shoes and enter teahouse scattering the pattern of raked sand with their bare feet

Detail Teahouse. Dora. 2002.

Start Fire


"Sumioku ha tatoe naraini somukutomo yuno yoku tagiru sumi ha sumi nari."
Charcoal, though placed contrary teachings, is charcoal if the charcoal boils well the hot water.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

  • Take kettle off fire place on trivet
  • Take off lid
  • Clean ladle with chakin in one smooth gesture
  • Fill kettle with water with ladle
  • Return ladle to original position on water jar
  • Light fire

Amuse Bouche


"Naninitemo oki tsuke kaeru tebanare ha koishiki hitoni wakaruru to shire."
When you place a tea utensil, you should withdraw your hand as though
it were a loved one you were leaving.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

Wine and olives on tray
Local Rosé Wine and Landscape
 
Amuse Bouche
Amuse buche literally means to amuse the mouth
It refers to finger food served with drinks
  • Walk to trunk (mizuya) and kneel for the first
  • Open box with wine glasses and olives.
  • Wipe wine tray (see right photo) with extra chakin
  • Remove olives from box and onto tray
  • Place toothpick in each olive container
  • Pull out wine glasses - wipe carefully - pour
  • Take over tray with wine and olives to guests
  • Give toast
  • Put down host glass onto tray
  • Check fire, Add charcoal/ feather as needed
  • Return to mizuya
  • Bring pot, cups, tea caddy on larger tray to teahouse
  • Put teapot on trivet
  • Check pot if near boil
  • Take away glasses & olives on glass tray


Truck which served as mobile preparation area (mizuya)

Make tea


"Naninitemo dogu atsukau tabigotoni toru te ha karuku oku te omokare."
Whatever utensil you handle,
pick it up as if it were light and put it down as if it were heavy.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

Make Tea

Making the tea is climax of the entire tea ceremony
  • Unwrap the shifuku of the tea container and fold material
  • Open tea container and wipe clean
  • Place some tea on lid & pass around to guests
  • Put tilleul flowers in teapot with tongs
  • Heat up teapot twice and dump the waste water
  • Put hot water in pot over tilleul
  • Get madelines & tray
  • Heat cups
  • Hold up pot into sun in the west
  • Pour Tea
  • Serve tea and madelines
  • Drink a little tea with madelines
  • Leave and return to mizuya to allow guests time for look at the tea utensils
  • Wait quietly
  • Return to teahouse
  • Close water lid to officially end the ceremony


Teapot with tilleul held up into the sun to highlight the flower form.

Question & Answer


"Haji o sute hito ni mono toi naraubeshi korezo jozu no motoi nari keru."
Sometimes a person may feel embarassed to ask questions. That embarrassment should be

set aside and questions asked.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)

The question and answer period was the least defined but often most satisfying part of each ceremony. Each person on each day noticing and responding to different aspects of the tea ceremony.

Clean up


"Tsutsu chawan fukaki soko yori fuki agari kasanete uchihe te wo yaranumono."
Wipe the deep cylindrical tea bowl from the bottom up,
without putting your hand into it a second time.

*Sen Rikyu (1522-1591)


Fountain. Vence, France
Clean Up
  • Load trunk and take to car
  • Clean up site and re-rake sand
  • Drive to Vence and get water from the Fou. The Fou is an almost mythical spring that feed the fountains of Vence, a town in the mountains north of Cagnes-sur-Mer. The mineral water of the fou comes from a deep water source. Locals still come to its fountains and collect drinking water
  • Wash utensils in hot water
  • Wash shifuku and other linens and
  • Put wine wrap in freezer
  • Put wine in refigorator to chill overnight
  • Iron linens

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* All saying by Sen Rikyu come from the TeaHyakka Website. Click on here to go to all hundred poems by Sen Rikyu.

About Exhibition Tea Utensils: Old and New What is an Occidental Teahouse? Tea Heart, Tea Mind: Are either a chemical trait? Gallic Perfume: Proust and Tea in French Culture Wabi: the tea esthetic re-examined Temae: Procedure, Performance, Continuity in Change Explore the way of tea: Links on WWW Found Materials in Context
  [Home]*[Current Project]*[ Memory of a guest that lingers...]*[Alchemic Light]*[Poetics]*[Open Secrets]*[Archived Site]*[Contact]

                      This site and all original contents are copyrighted ® 2000-2003 Aprille GLOVER. All rights reserved.

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