Thursday, December 31, 2009
I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas. I was taken flying by my neighbour in a Tiger Moth aeroplane. We were accompanied by two other aircraft - a Minicab and a Stearman. It was such a lovely afternoon and we spent an hour flying across Hastings and over the coast along Ocean Beach and Waimarama before turning inland. It was a wonderful thing to do on Christmas Day. Wishing you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
This lovely soft mizusashi is similar to one Estelle gave to Sanyo Fujii in 1983 after the second firing of our anagama. Fujii Sensei thought it was a rather feminine style but he appreciated the quality of the throwing and the colours produced by the firing.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This is another of our "children" that is not quite perfect. Fired next to the fire grate it has dunted and refilled the crack and a small piece of another pot is stuck inside. It is, however, very colourful and useful with a story to tell those who can read anagama firings.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This salt glazed squat bottle was made some time ago and fired in an experimental salt kiln we built at the local Polytech. The colours are lovely but, unfortunately, it stuck down and the base has had to be repaired - that is why it is the last of many I made that I still have.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
This is another of Estelle's pots from our Retrospective Exhibition of 2005. It has been made of McPherson's 21 clay, from Nelson, which fired best towards the rear of the anagama. This high iron bearing clay (12% iron) built up this magnificent metallic sheen as the iron migrated to the surface. It accepted very little ash and hence was this lovely reddish/purple colour all over.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This boat was from one of our earlier firings and was subjected to a very hard time. It does hold water and can be used for flowers but it is not to everyone's taste. Although it was not what was expected when it came from the kiln I have grown to respect it for what it is.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Not a very good arrangement but I wanted to try with these iris and a water lily. Unfortunately the lily closed up overnight and to get another from the pond was too difficult. A suiban is a summer ikebana container where the water shows in the wide form, giving a cooling look to the arrangement.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This historic aircraft is a DH60G and was flown from London to Sydney in 1934. It was then shipped to Auckland and flown to Bridge Pa Aerodrome to land here on the 13th. November, 1934 - exactly 75 years ago. The restored plane was back to celebrate the occasion last Friday and was accompanied by several Tiger Moth aircraft and several of the H.B.E.C club planes. The historic plane was flown by the daughter of the pilot who originally flew the plane from London to Sydney
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This is a genuinely old Lombok bowl as its provenance says that it was found amongst many pieces from a wrecked ship some year ago. We used it to serve something and then put it in the dishwasher only to have all the ingrained dirt removed. I liked it better when it was dirty.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is a natural rock artefact which is very like a Japanese incense box. We found this on the West Coast of the South Island many years ago long before we started making Kogo from clay. A pity it is not complete but I feel that the Japanese would use such a piece if at all possible.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
This lovely pendulous wisteria is at its best now. There are three different wisteria in my garden - this one, another white one with larger flowers and the more usual purple flowering one which comes out earlier than either of the two white varieties.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is one of my incense boxes fired in the anagama kiln. These small pieces were very satisfying to make but not at all economic. When we were in Japan we saw a wonderful exhibition of over 550 kogo from the George Clemenceau Collection. He collected a total of 3,500 Japanese incense boxes which are now part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts collection in Canada.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
There is something nice about a stack of wood. Whether for another kiln firing or just for the house as this lot is. There is a lovely book of photographs called "Stacking Wood" by Mimi Lipton and Thorsten Duser first published by Thames and Hudson in 1993. It is well worth a look.
Friday, October 23, 2009
This incense box we bought at a little antique shop in Kyoto in 1978. I would like to know who made it and maybe someone can translate what is written on the box lid. The kogo has a small stamp to indicate the maker which appears to be the same as the red stamp used on the box lid but the red stamp is not very clear.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
With its heavy texturing this is a wonderful cylinder to use for Japanese style ikebana arrangements. It was fired on its side near the fire grate and has fabulous colours all around and this heavy crusting of clinker on what was its top surface during the firing.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
This close-up shows the amazing variety of colours that result from a long anagama firing. The pot went into the kiln raw, i.e. with no pre-firing, no glaze or slip coating. This result comes about from a nine to ten day firing with pine wood - the ash from the fire reacting with the surface of the clay brings about these wonderful results.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This wall, using discarded clinker bricks, was built by Tibor Donner at his Titarangi home about 1950. His house and garden is an architectural wonder and I was privileged to have been able to visit it last October. He used a number of other waste ceramic products in his garden which makes it delightful for potters when they get to visit.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This is another of Estelle's pots fired in our anagama kiln. This piece was fired towards the back if the kiln and does not have the heavy coating of ash that the front pots receive. The colour is soft and variable making it a wonderful piece for flower arrangements.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
This vase, in the form of a piece of bamboo, was made by Estelle and fired in the area of the fire grate of the anagama. It nearly didn't survive but was worth the effort to repair. In Japan such a piece would be repaired with lacquer and be waterproof. The material I used is not completely waterproof but the vase is still able to be used by placing a narrow glass jar inside to hold the water and flowers.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
This shot was taken yesterday looking out the workshop window in the rain. The white sakura blossoms are now well finished but the pink flowering trees are looking good. Today, however, after 45mm rain yesterday, they are looking a little bedraggled.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Here is another of my Kogo (incense box) pieces. This shape is known in Japan as a Garan-seki or "Foundation Stone". Again, these sorts of pots are very time consuming to make and do very little to fill a large anagama kiln. They are worth the effort though as the very long firing gives them such wonderful, natural, colours
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
This sake bottle goes with the sake cups shown on Tuesday. A sake bottle in Japanese is a "Tokkuri" which comes from the sound made when sake is poured from a correctly proportioned sake bottle - "tokkuri, tokkuri, tokkuri" which, I think is much more descriptive of the sound than the English equivalent of "glug, glug, glug". The equivalent of 'Cheers" or Bottoms up" in Japanese is "Banzai" meaning "Please live for a thousand years" Banzai!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
My wisteria are looking magnificent at the moment. This one is growing on a pole and I have contained it so that it does not grow into the nearby trees. I should prune back some of the trees to give the lovely ball shape of the wisteria more space. This, and another one on my shade house, were given to us by John Scott when he designed our house in 1970.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
These small sake cups never did much to fill the large anagama kiln but I enjoyed making them. When thrown they are left spinning slowly on the wheel and the lip is tapped three times with the index finger. This distorts them badly but it can be repaired by smoothing the lip with a small piece of chamois cloth. However, clay has a memory and the distortion returns, to some degree, when the piece is fired, making for an interesting shape. The foot is cut the same way as a larger tea bowl with three cuts on the outside of the foot then one scoop to take out the centre. The edges of the foot are then tapped up and pressed onto a flat surface to finish.