When I first met Richard 20 years ago, he already had a strong desire to study
the practice of tea (Chanoyu). But interested in how he would respond to my question, I asked him, "What do you expect to gain from studying the Way of
Tea?" Richard's eyes lit up as he replied, "I want to devote my life to making ceramics for the tea ceremony."
Message from Sen Genshitsu
15th Generation Grand Master
of the Urasenke Tea Tradition
Written in 1999 for Milgrim's
exhibition catalog celebrating
Richard's first 20 years working in Japan
"Then come with me!" I said without hesitation -- and this is how I took Richard under my wing. My judgment proved to be correct. Richard began to manifest
such an amazing artistic ability in making tea ceramics that one wonders where it could have come from. The heart of the tea ceremony is the union of host and
guest. What Richard did in his practice of tea was to give material form to this spirit through the medium of ceramics. There is something very special in the
way he can shape the clay with his hands and give substance to what is in his mind and heart. And this he does with humility and a constant openness to
Nature. Some 20 years of single-minded purpose have combined with discipline and hard work to result in the creation of a ceramic art that is uniquely his own. I
urge you to view these works and as you enjoy their wonderful artistry, please allow them to become a part of you. I look forward with great anticipation to see
how Richard's "World of Nothingness" -- where there is no permanence, no barrier, no attachment to one thing -- will grow to maturity in the future.
Where heart & mind are born in an implement of tea made new,
Changed by the power of fire, as in the transforming kiln,
Moving freely in whatever direction it takes
The world of the unknown
I ask you all to lend your support and encouragement to this talented man, who holds so much promise.
by Sen Genshitsu, 1999
Urasenke 15th Grand Master
Dr. Sen Genshitsu in 2002
(with Milgrim and his wife Mari)
In 2003, Dr. Sen passed on the title
of Grand Master of the Urasenke tradition
to his son, taking the name Dr. Sen Genshitsu,
or Hounsai Daisosho, in 2003.