Iimage1-3finally got around to building a tenchaban, so that I can do tea in a seated position. I got extra motivated when one of my students hurt his knees. The only way he could continue learning tea was if he could sit on a stool. The first few weeks we used a stool and table from IKEA. This worked surprisingly good, though the lack of tables for the guest provided us with a few challenges. Where does the guest put the sweet tray? On the floor feels odd when your sitting on a stool, even though you would place it on the floor when in tatami. Also the guest etiquette got messy when there was no where to place the chawan.

I found some measurements for a tenchaban in Chanoyu Quarterly #39. I did deviate a bit from them, but only by 1-3 cm. My table is 90cm x 90cm, and it is 60cm underneath the table top. This allow the host to slide their knees underneath if they want to sit a bit closer.

The guest tables are 90cm x 45cm, so one fourth of a tatami.

My tables are constructed using simple modern techniques, with out any significant joinery. Not nearly as nice as the ones you can buy, but 1/30th of the cost 🙂

I have used the table for many different temae already, and I’m very happy with it. The guest tables are a bit wobbly, but I think that I will be able to fix that with minimal work. Other than that it has worked out perfectly. Though I still need to make a smal shelf for the kensui.


I painted the table black with the most glossy paint at the store. I can’t say that it became very glossy, but still it looks nice. The black paint highlights any spilled matcha or water drops. Especially the tea is hard to clean of the surface. Therefore I’m considering lacquering it with a clear lacquer.

Day 200 and the bowl that was

2015-05-21 07.29.30Last week, I reached a new milestone in my morning tea project – I have now done temae 200 days in a row. I did not do anything special for this day, but I did have an accident instead. While I was taking the koicha tea bowl off the shelf, I managed to bump it into another Tea bowl that came tumbling out of the shelf and crashed into my freshwater container. So, in addition to a broken Tea bowl, I also now have a mizusashi with some awful scratches on the lid.

I’m going to try make the tea bowl that was into the tea bowl that is. To accomplish this,  I will try my hands at kintsugi (repairing with lacquer and gold).

The main concept of this technique is that you glue the pieces together using lacquer and some other medium like flour. This creates a solid binding of the pieces. You have two options for finish. You can either add a top layer of lacquer and polish this, or you can add a layer of lacquer and sprinkle it with metal dust. The dust will spread out in the lacquer and it will look like the repair was done with metal instead of lacquer.

Actually, I won´t be doing kin-tsugi, but rather “tin”-tsugi since I’m using tin and not gold to do the repair (gold was too expensive for my very first try at this technique). Tin will give the end product a look like highly polished silver.

We talked a little bit about Tea repair in one of our podcasts, and there are some pictures here if you want to see the technique in use. My Tea teacher, who is also a co-host on the podcast, has some experience with Tea repair (the pictures I linked to are all his projects). So I talked to him, to get some advise and to figure out what equipment I would need.

I ordered all the necessary items from the Watanabe web page. I ordered A01, A03, B06, F01, F03, F13, K53, and E02 – I hope that is all I need. It was easy to order, I just e-mailed them the list of products that I wanted, gave them my address and said I wanted to pay with PayPal. The very next day I got a invoice,  and hopefully soon I will have the utensils 🙂

I will be posting my progress under the label. Just click the link and you’ll find all the posts

Some online resources

A step by step guide:


A few nice videos:



Tsurezure dana


During my recent trip to Warsaw I was introduced to a wonderfull tana. Tsurezure dana is made of laquered wood. The middle shelfe is hidden behind two small doors. Using the small hangles on the mini fusuma you can slid them back to reveale the natsume.

Tsurezure dana was designed by Tantansai, Urasenkes 14th Oiemoto.

I liked this tana alot. I liked how it keeps the natsume hidden untill it is needed. I like how the doors and the movements to open them brings extra focus to the revealing of the natsume.

Temae Notes

This tana is only used during Ro season. This might be because it is quite wide.

The natsume is keept inside the tana. To bring out natsume first first slide back the left doors using your left hand, and then slide back the right door using right hand. The doors are closed as soon as the natsume is out. All this is done while still holding the natsume. As you open or close the right door you need pass the natsume to your left hand and similarly for the left door.

Small doors on the tana

Hishaku and futaoki can be placed on top. Since it is a square shape the hishaku cup should be facing upward presenting a round shape. Hishaku is places diagonalu, with the cup slightly to the left of the center and the handle on the right side. Furaoki goes to the left of hishaku.

During sumi the feather and kogo can be placed similarly as described above for hishaku and futaoki.

When refilling the mizusashi at the end of the temae it is moved to the front of the tana, and a mizutsugi is used.




Window / Decoration at the bottom