Today I crossed paths with the master British ceramist Steven Harrison at his solo exhibition at the Arts & Science Aoyama Gallery in Tokyo. Knowing nothing of his work, he explained his process and technique. Perfectly thrown pottery, made slowly and carefully, how thin he could throw the pots and how much work it took to make one. Using salt glazes and unique porcelain mixes - he gave me his full attention, and I took it in.
Leaving I thought back to the Japanese expression used to highlight the Japanese tea ritual: ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会), or “one meeting, one life” - a reminder to participants that each single tea meeting is unique that will never recur in one’s lifetime, each moment should be treated with the utmost sincerity.
A chance meeting with the potter, like the tea master he handed me a bowl - a memory imprinted, a lesson remembered.