I have recently been asked to make a water basin and some stone sculptures for a Japanese garden in the UK.
The water basin or ‘Tsukubai’ (lieterally meaning ‘to squat’) is used for ritual cleansing usually before a tea ceremony. The stone can either be uncut with a simple carved depression or elaborataly carved. The water is served with a bamboo dipper for scooping out the water. The water basin is an essential element for a tea garden and is often displayed with stone lanterns. These are made from stone in a variety of sizes and stand near significant buildings.
To make this special water bowl, I decided to use an ancient black and white piece of English limestone stone (Frosterley or Stanhope) which is full of fossils dating back 330 million years ago. I have used the uncut stone to create a bowl by hand carving a depression and eventually it will have a base made from another stone.