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Thanks to dear Carol Soucek King and the kind help from Docent Priscilla Gibbs, I was fortunate once again to not only have a magnificent guided tour of the Raku exhibit that I’ve blogged about but the bonus round was a front row seat for a lovely tea ceremony.  Ah reminiscent of our April visit to Kyoto last year.  Now I can hardly wait to return in November to see the magnificent fall colors!  Priscilla has been so incredibly helpful as I plan this next group visit to Japan.

Have you ever noticed how striking the architecture is for the Pavilion for Japanese Art at LACMA? 

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 We were greeted by lovely kimono clad ladies……

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 …and there’s my front row seat right next to Carol….

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 But first a short tutorial about the tea ceremony….

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The stage is set…….IMG 7455

 Hot water has been heated in the large bronze container…….

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 The tea, which is different from tea leaves in that it is crushed into a powder, is then whisked into each individual bowl…..

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 But first sweets are handed out with the customary bow…..

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 Could not wait…….love these!

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 Carol is handed her bowl with instructions on the proper positioning. When you are handed the bowl, the design faces you and you are to turn the bowl so the design faces outward.

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 Notice how large the hand crafted bowls are and although sometimes it’s difficult, you really can see that one side has more pattern to it.  Also, can you tell how much thicker and richer the tea is?

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 All of this calls for a lot of discussion…..What great fun to see Marilyn Wulliger (on the right)!

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After all the guests have been served, the implements are set aside.  The little container was for the powdered tea.IMG 7491

 I was delighted to see awesome Robert Hori the Huntington Botanical Garden Cultural Curator and Program Director.  Just wish I got a better photo!

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 After that delightful experience Carol & I went across the way to the LACMA Cafe.  Does anyone else think this is as funny as I do???

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 We ordered a Ruben sandwich…. to split…..

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 ….and had great fun at the salad bar…..

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 I said great fun didn’t I?  My plate could not be piled up any higher!   This was all sooooo yummy!!!

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 And the Ruben was delicious.  Carol went for the mustard…..

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 Now you know what I had to get…..

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 Time to go back to the Japanese Pavilion and meet Priscilla……

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 Some helpful info on Raku ware…..

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 This low-fire, hand formed  ceramic tea bowl,  was made by the very first Raku in the 16th century Raku l (Chojiro).  After him, the technique was passed down to each successive generation and only one member of each was allowed to continue the tradition.  Fascinatingly, each generation would make clay to be used by their great grand-son.

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 Priscilla is so knowledgeable and we were fascinated by all of the information she shared.  Please check LACMA’s scheduled list of docent tours.

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 You knew I’d love the hanging scrolls….

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 This pair for ‘Dragon’ and ‘Tiger’ are magnificent.  It just looks easy!  Shantien ‘Tom’ Chow continues to teach this beautiful art form in my studio the first Saturday of each month.

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 Carol & I want this Goose and have agreed to share custody!

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 Carol is talking with delightful Eugenia Aladro, the most charming young woman from Argentina that we met and who was so kind to help me with my iPhone.  Eugenia is in film production & working on a shoot for Chanel this week. Again, wish I had a better photo….she’s so lovely!

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 Time to go….hey, there’s a bride……always a delightful sight!

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 I think the new elevators are soooo cool!!!

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Have an adventure filled week!

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