My love affair with Japanese traditions started since I was 13 years old. That year, I was selected to study a 3rd language on top of English, our first language and Chinese, our 2nd. I could pick either Japanese or French and I chose Japanese. We were taught by a Japanese lady whose face I still recall quite clearly although I have long forgotten her name. The language too is but a distant memory but my love for some things Japanese lingers till today.
One of those things I love is the tetsubin or the Japanese cast iron water kettle. I love it for its sturdiness, the rural feel, that fact that it looks deceptively simple but is really a work of art. The kettle alone however is not what makes the magic for me. It is the sight of it hanging over a charcoal pit from a roof beam in a farmhouse, evoking at once an air of elegance and warmth that few other images can achieve for me. I see hot tea, good company and earthy conversations. I see bliss.
In contrast to that, we have this. This was me when I first started buying dollhouse miniatures. This particular piece was bought from MMoT during my 1st trip, maybe some of you have it too. I had thought it would fit into my Maharajah's Palace, a palace which I have yet to build. Now I can no longer see how a filigree teapot can fit into any of my setting. So I decided it should become a tetsubin. A tetsubin in the true sense, strictly cast iron, no enamel on the inside so that the water boiled in it will have the properties of the iron which in turn will enhance the flavour of the tea.
So I took out my matt white nail polish, which ironically was for my French manicure, and started painting the pot till all the holes were covered. After that, I spray painted the kettle black and then just to make sure no one thought there could be any enamel lurking in there, I added dabs of rust on the handle. I know you may not see the connection of how rust on handle means no enamel, that's why I have to tell you:
rust on handle= no enamel.
Good company, great conversations, bliss.