Soba Choko or Small Cup


Soba Choko or Small Cup
  • Soba Choko or Small Cup
  • Soba Choko or Small Cup
  • $28.00

Named for its traditional function, soba choko is a Japanese expression that translates to 'buckwheat small cup.' The original purpose of this handmade porcelain vessel is to house a dipping sauce for soba noodle dishes.

However, this elegant cup with minimalist clean lines encourages multipurpose use. Fill with berries, olives, or other sweets and savories meant to be enjoyed in small doses. Serve wine, an aperitif, or a nightcap to move beyond the world of condiments.

The signature glaze is reminiscent of a foggy day at sea. The stone gray  base transitions through misty blue-green to soft white above the imagined horizon. With these two tones, the piece pays homage both to the earthy nature of traditional Karatsu pottery and to the ethereal beauty of the Maine coast.

- Blue, green, and gray glaze
- Measures 3.25" diameter x 3" tall
- Wash by hand

Like all of Monohanako’s work, this piece is delicate. Its fragility requires the beholder to be present in the moment, even when washing a dish after use. Placing a soft liner between each piece when stacking multiple is worth the moment of gentle pause. How clever to use a handmade work of art to remind of this ideal.

Hanako Nakazato is a 14th generation potter from Japan. Her technique and philosophy are rooted in the ceramic traditions of Karatsumono, but working and living in the West have influenced the shapes and surfaces of her work.  

Dividing her time between her studios in and Union, Maine and Kyushu, Japan, Hanako creates exquisite yet simple forms that balance beauty and functionality.

The pristine landscapes and dramatic seasonal changes of Maine have clearly inspired the colors and textures in Hanako’s work in the years she has spent here. She translates the color of the sky to the glaze of a cup and the speckles of a bird’s egg to the surface of a bowl.

Even while the colors and textures stimulate the imagination, Monohanako pieces maintain a simplicity and purity of form that leaves room for whatever the vessel might hold. Hanako believes that her pottery is “finished” or made complete through use.

From the Artist: “Every day is different. Just like you change what you wear based on different seasons, occasions and your mood, I hope you enjoy the changes in everyday life through how you use pottery.”

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