Sunday, 22 July 2018

Teacups ~ Story Time

Honestly, this short story is a sort of... catharsis that I needed to do. I wanted to make translucent teacups/pots for Coco, so I got some translucent FIMO. And ruined many tries. The first one was under-baked, the second one was too baked and turned orange... so I went and made a teacup with the jade-like FIMO, only to have the acrylic I used to fill it, completely ruined.

My third try of teacups broke while in the oven and I glue them. Hubby suggested me to paint them with blue and gold, like those traditional cups... but the result was floppy. And it gave me the idea for this story. I do hope to be able to make better props in the future, honestly.

So here is a photo, and the story is under the cut.

The Teacups

She tried to not stare, but it was impossible. Coco purchases were careful and planned, and only made if the item had a reasonable balance between quality and price. And she was particularly picky regarding food. After weeks living together, Venezia could tell that Coco always followed her schedule, which included a mid-afternoon tea. Other routines were having a brunch on the balcony, and playing saxophone when she thought nobody was listening.

Coco had a very interesting collection of teacups, even if Venezia had never seen her purchasing any of those. All the sets came in different wooden boxes, with different levels of detail. However, regardless of this collection, Coco often picked a lone teacup and pot of white china, with blue painting and golden edges. Venezia could not understand it. Coco even had a tea set made of jade that was gifted to her in a fancy ebony box, decorated with a gold label… but she still used that set. And what made it special -or less special, to V’s thoughts- was how floppy it was made. The porcelain appeared cracked and disguised under the painting, and the strokes were uneven, as if the artist did not knew what they were doing; even more, the golden detail on the edge was jagged.

But there she was, relaxed on the couch with her e-book reader, while waiting to remove the tea bag from the cup. Venezia sighed. After weeks of living together, Coco was still a mystery to her in many things. “What is bothering you so much?” The dark haired model raised her head only to find herself scrutinized by Coco’s worried gaze. “I heard your frustrated sigh… and you’ve been lost in your thoughts for a while already”.

Venezia smiled. She really could not hide anything to Coco. She relaxed on the smaller couch, and pointed to her roommate’s teacup.

“I was wondering about that cup” she stated. “You keep using that broken thing, even when you have others that have a better craftsmanship”.

Somehow, Coco had expected that. She looked at her with a forgiving smile, and then her attention returned to her cup. She moved the silver spoon while a fond smile drew on her face. That teacup was precious to her. How could she explain that to Venezia?

“It has a story”. She said, finally removing the bag from the cup to leave it carefully on top of the squared dish that came with it. “Do you care to listing to it? “Of course!” Venezia had never seen such smile on her friend’s face, and that interested her more than anything. Besides, Coco never offered to share anecdotes of her life, as she was a master to answer every question with an evasive that left the other person satisfied. If that teacup was so important to Coco, then the related story was probably really good. Maybe Coco had made it herself? Or the sister she barely talked about?

Coco delayed the story. She straightened on the couch, leaving the e-book reader at the side, and slowly tasting the tea she had prepared. A satisfied hum escaped her lips as she enjoyed every drop of that sip. Tea always managed to lift her spirit, especially when served on that cup.

“My father travels a lot to Korea, you know?” Coco started, surprising the other model. She had never talked about her parents before that. “My sister and I had accompanied him on one of his business trips, but we were left to our own. We were walking around when we came across an art expo, in which sculpting students were showcasing their art”. Venezia leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees, interested in hearing more. “There was this young man who only had this set. His classmates had perfect cups, lots of them. And many were selling them at high prices. But he only had this imperfect set with him”. “Did you asked him what happened?” Coco shrugged in denial.

“I don’t. I saw him mocked by his classmates and teachers, and I was about to pass by, until I saw his face”. She continued, her gaze lost in thought as if she could see that young man near her. “His face was tired and he had eye bags under his eyes. He had worked hard on this lonely cup. So before I knew it, I had walked towards him to ask him about the cup. He told me that he had spent weeks making them, but that this one…” she slightly raised the cup, carefully wrapped between her fingers. “Was the only one that wasn’t broken. I kept hearing him. He told me about his inspiration, his plans, and… I just couldn’t resist. I bought the set, to my sister’s surprise”.

Venezia did not know what to say. The lingered in silence for a moment, both of them watching the cup. Coco smiled again, and sipped the last bit of the tea she had prepared. “This teacup is more than a teacup”. Coco finally said. “It reminds me that we all start somewhere, driven by our passion, even if that start is floppy or mediocre. But if we put our minds into it, we can improve. And sometimes…” She swallowed, trying to keep her voice from betraying her. “Even we are broken, cracked, or not the best we can offer… but we still do our job. And that is why this cup is special”. Coco stood up, taking the small squared dish with her, and moved to the kitchen counter to clean it. Venezia was still struck by her last words, when another question appeared in her mind and moved to her mouth before she could control herself.

“Do you know the name of that artist boy?”

“Yes”. Coco answered, after discarding the tea bag. “We exchanged numbers. His name was Ri Ho-Jun”.

Venezia nodded, accepting the name, and relaxing on her sit. She had never seen Coco making impulse purchases before, even though that one had been special. However, something was off. The dark-skinned woman was sure she had heard that name before, as it kept echoing in her mind. But, she could not remember where it had been. She instinctively closed her eyes, raising her left hand to her forehead, as if pressing it would help her remember.

‘Of course!’ She mumbled to herself, after a couple seconds. She had seen that name on an invitation Coco had received weeks before… and in the ebony box she got with the jade tea set. And in every tea set box she had… Venezia shook her head. That was not possible. Could that boy be the same that was now world-famous for his intricate and exclusive pottery? That was not possible! That man was… ridiculously talented, he could not have progressed so much in seven or eight years.

“Is he…” Her voice failed her, and Coco turned, an eyebrow raised in concern. “Is he the guy that invited you to that gala, two weeks ago?”

Coco smiled. “Of course! We have kept in touch since then!” Her voice sounded happy. “All of my tea sets are gifts from him”.

Venezia melted into her sit. Coco had a small fortune in pottery made by an exclusive artisan… only for being kind to him. If that was not the wheel of life at its best, Venezia did not knew what it was.

I am so sorry. I just had to write this. A little something to cheer me up after my failed teacups. And I do hope that this story will be a reminder to all of us. Perfection and quality requires training and practicing. Talent is an acquired skill. We can make it if we put our mind and time into it! Have a great day, everyone!! :D


  1. Oh, I just LOVE this story. It brought me to tears at the end. Don't apologize for writing it--it's beautiful. And keep writing stories, because you're really good. (And keep trying to make teacups. Who knows? Maybe you too will turn out to be a Ri Ho-Jun.)

    1. Thank you, I'm so happy you like!!! And I'm so sorry, it wasn't by intention to bring you to tears... I cried while writing it, as well.
      I'll keep making teacups, the jade one turned out really nice, actually!!

  2. Además de una bella historia, me has dado justo en el ojo con la moraleja. Tienes razón, siempre, con ánimo y dedicación se puede mejorar más y más. Adoro esas tacitas que te dieron tanto trabajo. La historia es preciosa. La guardaré en mi corazón.

    1. ¡Gracias! Si soy sincera, la he releído varias veces para recordármelo a mí misma también.
      ¡Me alegro que te gustaran mis tazas!

  3. This is a lovely story Musume, with more than one moral. The first, not giving up and to try and try again until we succeed; the second, when we are kind to people we meet during our life's pathway we are often rewarded ten fold.

    I shall look forward to seeing your cups when you perfect them. 😘
    Big hugs,

    1. Thank you! I agree with you, there was two morals, and both are really important.
      I think I should make the whole jade set and make some photos! I'm finding really interesting the idea of having Ri Ho-Jun as a doll!

  4. This is such a gorgeous story. I love how much heart you put into everything you do - it shines through in your characters and stories. They always make me so happy to read.

    1. Thank you so much, that is so kind of you to say!! It means a lot to me :)

  5. I admire anyone who works with fimo and produces results as pretty as the cups - even if you were annoyed, you finished them at least. I wouldn't have the nerve for working with fimo at all.

    1. Thank you so much, you are too kind!!
      I made something else with FIMO. I actually love working with cold porcelain, but it is a lot more limited than FIMO, to be honest. The scary part is baking the things D:

  6. This is a wonderful story, Musume! It reminds me about the crafts we do as kids and that my kids came home with. It is important to support and then it is important to continue as an artist and learn from mistakes, instead of giving up! I think the cups are pretty! FIMO is rather har to work with, especially when it is tiny props. You did good!

    1. Thank you!! I agree with you: it is really important to learn from mistakes!
      I will keep working with FIMO :D

  7. Esta me gustó harto, que lindo mensaje!