I want to bring the values and aesthetics taught in Chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, to modern day audiences. The Zen inspired Tea Ceremony principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquility can create space in peoples’ lives, to be here now. The wabi aesthetic teaches us to do more with less; austerity is not about deprivation, but about transcending loss and loneliness to make it part of the spiritual practice.
Craig Tenney, woodworker and craftsman
My work is inspired and guided by the wabi beauty aesthetic of Chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. This simple, unpretentious beauty found throughout the tea ceremony, the essence of Japan’s traditional culture. It has had a deep and lasting influence on my personal aesthetic values. Sharing works of art from the world of Tea with you is my contribution to mitate, the creative aspect of Tea. Mitate calls for the craftsman to create new value by taking something that holds significance in one context, and placing it in a different time and space. Take a moment, sit quietly with the work, let it awaken your power of creative association.
The Name SweetPersimmon
The items designed and built by SweetPersimmon incorporate a Japanese aesthetic. Persimmons are quite popular in Japan, and so the name resonates and sets a tone for our offerings.
The persimmon goes from astringent to sweet almost overnight. In other words, if you are patient, and wait for the right moment, you are rewarded with an experience that is fine and memorable. That spirit guides our way of collecting, creating and offering our goods to you. Not until the item is just right, is the best we can find or make, do we offer it to you.
There is also a charming Japanese folk tale entitled Kimamori, “The Guardian Persimmon.” It says that to ensure an abundant harvest next year, you must leave one fruit on the tree from this year. In a craft such as ours, where we are using our earth’s resources, this name serves as a reminder to us. It tells us that we must leave something behind, not be profligate in the consumption of wood, leaf and air, if we want there to be abundance for the future.