That One Time I was in a Japanese Publication

That One Time I was in a Japanese Publication

I was interviewed in September 2021 for a Japanese expats publication Navi Manila by Manila Shimbun and it was strange to read the interview in Nihongo. Don't worry, an English translation follows. :-) Here's the link:

シェリル・イボン・マルティネスさん Ms. Sheryl Ebon Martinez ティーソムリエ、陶芸家。アンティケ州出身、ケソン市在住。「2018年に陶芸を始めてから、すでに数百点つくりました。主に中国の功夫茶や日本の茶の湯に使う茶碗などをつくっています」 Originally from Antique province, Ms. Martinez is a tea sommelier and ceramicist based in Quezon City. ‘Starting serious pottery in 2018, I have made hundreds of ceramic works, mainly tea wares for Chinese Gongfu tea ritual and Chanoyu Japanese tea ceremony.’





色、形、大きさもさまざまな陶芸作品。家庭でも使っているほか、2019年には茶道具作品の展示会も開催した。 Various tea wares. Ms. Martinez uses her pottery works at home. She was also part of a Tea Ware Exhibition ‘ Kissako’ in 2019.



自分のろくろとガス窯で制作するマルティネスさん。 「陶器用の粘土は主にケソン市クバオのセントラルセラミックセンターで買い、磁器用には愛知県瀬戸市の粘土を使います」 Ms. Martinez makes pottery with her own kick wheel and gas kiln. ‘I use stoneware clay from Central Ceramics Center, Cubao, Quezon City, and porcelain clay from Seto City, Aichi, Japan.’

Clay Produces Infinite Creativity; Pottery is a Miracle Made by Nature

The reason why I started pottery was originally pragmatic. I used to import tea wares from Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan for my online teashop and I realized the breakage rate was so high that I thought it’s better to make them myself. So I went to pottery workshops; the first one was at the Univ. of the Philippines Ceramics Studio, plus I also learned from local masters like Jon & Tessy Pettyjohn, Joey de Castro and Pablo Capati.
All of nature’s basic elements are present in pottery-making: clay or earth, water, fire and air. It’s a miracle that a humble lump of clay can turn into pottery that outlives us for thousands of years.

千利休の弟子で茶人の古田織部を偲ぶ織部焼茶碗 (left) ‘Tribute to Furuta’ Porcelain Chawan in Oribe glaze.

Start with Kneading Clay

I make pottery almost every day. I can make 15- 20 bowls and cups a day, but it takes 2- 3 weeks to complete the whole process. It takes at least 3 days for a pot to get to the leather hard stage to trim it into the final form. Then another 5 days to fully reach the bone-dry stage where you can bisque-fire it. Two days later it can be glazed, and let it dry before you can glaze-fire it to 1,280 degrees Celsius.

My tea ware works are inspired by the East Asian tradition of tea drinking and ceramics. In the future, I would like to try to make a huge Korean onggi jars to store tea leaves and a Samovar tea maker used in Russia.

If you want to start pottery, I think going to a workshop is the best way to learn it. Getting familiar with the clay from the day one will give you a better notion if you want to pursue it or not. Learning pottery is simply doing it. The basics are also important so you learn from those who know the craft.


素焼き用と陶器用粘土を混ぜて作った志野焼のティーセット。Solo tea set in Shino glaze made from a mix terracotta and stoneware clay

Photos courtesy of Ms. Sheryl Ebon Martinez

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