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VA Pfau Thompson - Featured Tea Artist

August 17, 2020

VA Pfau Thompson - Featured Tea Artist

I love and respect artists.

Thanks to this blog and tea-loving communities such as the Green Tea Club Private Facebook Group, I often have the opportunity to meet with great tea artists. I always wanted to use my blog to showcase my personal favorite tea artists who are in the Japanese tea industry.

This is my first attempt to do this.

Let me introduce VA Pfau Thompson, who lives in the USA but has lived in Japan. Here are her great tea artworks, and scroll down to her bio and message about her experience living in Japan.

I hope you enjoy it. If you are a tea artist and want me to introduce your artwork to the tea-loving community, please contact me here.

 Art by VA Pfau Thompson 

Lotus Teapots ready for the wood kiln

 Wood-fired lotus tea set and green lotus teacups


My kitty Frida inspects a wood-fired Lotus Teapot

Message from VA Pfau Thompson

I had been a double English Lit and Art major in my undergraduate studies before moving to Japan, and ceramics and pottery were two of my favorite classes. After teaching ESL for 3 years and traveling Japan, I decided to make it my career.

I attended the Aichi University of Fine Arts (愛知県立芸術大学) as a research student for a year and got to learn traditional Japanese Ceramics techniques.

The teapot lesson by a potter from Tokoname was my favorite! I learned how to make kyusu with spout-inset tea strainers, and since I am a bit of a "fussy" maker, I loved it! I still sometimes make this style of pot here in the US, but I don’t sell very many. Most people seem to think it is a "neti pot" because of the side handle. Anyways, now I am a full-time Ceramics and Sculpture instructor at a community college in southern Arizona, and I love educating my students and the community on pottery and tea!

I have been making pottery for over a decade, but I usually just sell it at craft fairs and locally and do not have an online store. My husband and I recently moved to a new house with room for a full studio for me, so my goal is to have my pottery business up and running within a year.

I absolutely LOVED living in Japan! I taught English in the public middle and elementary schools in Fuji-cho, Saga-ken, for 3 years (now I believe it has been absorbed by Saga City, and my older Hokuzan middle school is under a reservoir for the Fukuoka water supply).

Nearly every morning and afternoon at 10 and 3, I would enjoy tea and snacks in the teacher’s office break room with a few colleagues. I adored the gorgeous little snacks and made sure to get the best omiyage whenever I would travel to bring them back.

I had become a tea lover after visiting the UK and living there for a year, but I had never drunk properly prepared green tea before! It was delightful, and I came to love all the Japanese green teas, even the matcha, which was usually presented to me by third-grade students who made very amusing faces at the bitterness.

I am excited to do a better job of showing my work online and selling it in other venues once I get my private studio up and running.

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