Legend has it that many years ago a jealous and devious pot maker was envious that the potter Chojiro was bestowed the honour of making Chawan for the emperor Toyotomi Hideyoshi for use in the tea ceremony. Seething with anger the jealous potter trained 12 wily and devious monkey’s to go and steal the secrets of Chojiro’s Chawan making and bring the secrets back to him so that the jealous potter could learn Chojiro’s art.
The monkeys set off on their mission to find and bring back the secrets of the Chawan and being monkeys, were unorganized in how to go about getting the secrets that their master wanted. One monkey suggested that they sit and watch Chojiro making the Chawan so that they could learn the art and techniques that Chojiro employed and take the information back to their master. Another suggested that they steal some Chawan to take back so their master could see the techniques that Chojiro used. Undecided the monkeys spent a long time arguing when eventually they settled on the idea of stealing some Chawan to take back. Unbeknown to the monkeys the Chawan that Chojiro had made were already in the kiln ready to be fired.
Not knowing anything about the art of pot making the monkeys climbed into the kiln and each one grabbed hold of one Chawan to take back to their master. Monkeys being monkeys, they could not do the job without getting up to some mischief and they started to mess about with the Chawan distorting them and making holes in them so that they could never be used for the tea ceremony. All of a sudden the door of the kiln closed and the monkeys were trapped in Chojiro’s kiln to await their inevitable fate.
When Chojiro opened the kiln he found that twelve of his Chawan had a monkey fired to the side of the pot. Enraged and confused about how this could have happened, Chojiro was beside himself when looking at the Chawan he saw that there were holes in the bottom making them useless for the tea ceremony. Chojiro threw away all the pots into a hole in the ground and the pots remained buried hidden from view for centuries, until now…
Available very soon from his website http://www.stonemonkeyceramics.co.uk