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#2. Pairing Art and Tea. Snow on the Ground

Seasonally, we feature an artwork that describes the atmosphere in the design studio. We then pair a tea that highlights the art. They're better enjoyed together.

There's snow on the ground in Portland. It has fallen and created a blanket of white over our garden and down the road. I'm reminded that this blanket brings death. And yet the waters of this cold blanket also nourish and moisturize the ground. It's so bright, this wintery expression. The dying and the new. The porcelain white clears my eyes and clears the earth upon which it has fallen. This season's artist works in clay. Astrid Dahl is a South African ceramicist that I've followed vehemently since discovering her body of work ten years ago. She uses the traditional South-African methods of coiling and hand-working clay. Dahl reflects nature's intricate patterns and the delicate balance from which all life grows. The tea that is paired with her work seemingly contrasts Dahl's pieces. The obvious choice would be a Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) a delicate white tea. Instead, I've chosen a Shou (ripe) Pu'er. This tea is the earth to Dahl's snow. The Golden Buds of Joy Shou Pu'er is a perfect compliment to Dahl's work, as well as to any winter. Find it at Fly Awake Tea Garden, contact details below. Golden Buds of Joy assists in laying new foundations. It's earthy and dark. Our natural instinct to hibernate and shed a layer of skin is contrasted and distracted by the rushed holiday season, pulling us in the opposite direction. The tea reaches beyond those extremes and hones the senses. Slow down for tea and for art. For life too, while you're at it.

Notice the details and intricacies of each curve of the clay. And when you have to keep moving, allow the tea to keep building your system, to be your grounding ally through the regenerating winter months. Artwork: "Vessel " - Astrid Dahl Website: Medium: Porcelain clay Tea: Golden Buds of Joy, Shou Pu'er Facebook Page: Profile: Earthy with hints of barnyard and dried corn cob. It grounds, calms and centers the system. Suggested Brewing Method: 1 t-spoon of tea leaves in 10 oz of boiling hot water. Quickly rinse the leaves for 10 seconds, then brew for 2-3 minutes. Resteep up to 6 times. It's likely that the third steep will be your best as the leaves will have fully unfurled by then.

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