The chawan originated in China and was imported to Japan in the 13thcentury, where it became an integral part of Japanese culture. Historically, the vessel comes in many forms, from the Seto-made Tenmoku chawan, which has a tapered shape, to the blue and white Annan ware that originated as rice bowls in Vietnam.
For his chawan, Sachs eschewed the pottery wheel, choosing instead to mold vessels that bear the imprint of his fingers. He did this to resist what he calls the “digitization of the creative process.” The resulting imperfections betray the humanity of the person—in this case, Sachs—who made the object. “I do my best to make these works round, but every fingerprint, crack, or dent says that I was here,” he explains.