• Sylvie Riches

Tea Cups for the AUSTCS Seminar

Updated: Oct 5, 2021


This weekend was the Australian Tea Cultural Society seminar and I am very proud to have been selected to create cups for the event.


I picked a theme for my cups based on patterns observed in nature. I was inspired by the beautiful patterns created by the the veins seen inside the bark of the Australian banksia. T


hese are called the phloem. It is through these veins that the sugary food is transported to nourish the tree. I thought that the meaning of this pattern would be a beautiful and poetic aspect to combine into the cups’ decoration. I wanted to think of the phloem as a metaphor for the experience of sharing tea with a friend and how nourishing it can be to the soul. this is how I created a regular pattern with home-made wooden tools and created a stylised version of the phloem.


I had planned to make 60 cups, some were going to be raw glazed (without a bisque firing) with a creamy variegated glaze and others were going to be coated with a green glaze after bisque firing. Things were going just fine until I opened my kiln and found that the raw glazed cups didn't look at all the way they were meant to.




I glazed them again which helped fix the problem. However in the meantime I had decided to make extra cups with a new glaze just in case. In the end, I had three different cups to offer.


Close up details





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