Chris’s recent post about texture reminded me of this Japanese bowl that I have:
The bowl is extremely light in weight, which leads me to think that it is made from kiri (Royal Paulownia, Paulownia tomentosa). The finish is urushi, and I believe that it is tamenuri, which is “natural” urushi, without any dyes or pigments added.
The bowl is turned, and the surface texture is very rough, with substantial tear-out and other “defects.”
A view of the inside reveals what looks to have been an all-out assault with a scraper.
Here’s a close-up of an area with a lot of tear-out:
I find the bowl interesting, in that it appears as if its primary purpose is to highlight the limitations of our tools. The only place where the bowl deviates from that purpose is in its base, which is turned perfectly flat and smooth, like any other bowl.
– Steve Schafer