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.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This is another view from the front of my house. The yellow shrub is a maple and the reddish tree is a flowering plum. When Estelle and I laid out the gardens we always tried to leave space for the eye to travel - we had no wish to be completely closed in.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This image was taken last week and is now gone. The blossom is finished as it only lasts a very short time. I have about twenty different blossom trees so their flowering period extends over quite a long time and so I can enjoy an extended Spring.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
The story behind this teapot is too involved to write up here but was purchased in Japan at the time of the Korean war. It is signed with a very authentic looking Kenzan signature but may be by one of his followers. It has lovely decoration in the Kenzan style so who cares whether it is genuine or not.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
These Azaleas are looking particularly lovely at the moment. This smaller flowered one is the one we saw so frequently in Japan but there they often clip the bushes into a ball shape and keep them small. I rather like them when they are left to form their own shape.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This bottle was fired next to the main grate in the anagama. I have spoken before that this is a "risk all" area but one for wonderful colours. In Japan it would be filled with lacquer so that it could be used - it is certainly too nice to throw away. Our teacher, Sanyo Fujii, said to us that pots were like your children and, just because they may have something wrong, you do not abandon them.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
These bowls are called "Hari-zansho" and used to serve small portions of vegetables. During a Japanese meal as many as fourteen or more different shaped dishes may be used to serve the many varieties of vegetables or fish and the rice. There is no attempt to use similar patterns or shapes but they are always beautiful and appropriate to what is being served. The amount of dish-washing never seems to be a problem either. Although only one shows in this photograph there are three small balls of clay to make a stable footing.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
This tree is looking magnificent at the moment but, like all Sakura, will soon start to loose it's blossoms. Some years ago we had a visit by a young Japanese man travelling through New Zealand on a motor bike. When he saw this tree in blossom he asked if he may sit under it for awhile as he had missed the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan and was really feeling very homesick.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
This boat or "fune" kogo was also made by hand. A piece of clay is moulded into shape and left to stiffen. The lid piece is then cut free and the inside scooped out to make the receptacle for the incense. The lid is also scooped out and a small rim made with thin slabs of clay attached inside to secure the lid to the hull of the boat.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
These little boxes are used to hold incense for the Tea Ceremony. This one is in the form of a Kura, or Japanese store-house. They are usually made by hand and not much more than 5cm. in any dimension. During the Tea Ceremony two of the three small triangular flakes of incense are put onto the charcoal fire to perfume the room. The last piece of incense is left in the box and at a certain point during the ceremony the guest may ask to view and admire the box and its contents. Tomorrow I will post another of my kogo for you to see.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
It was cold enough last night to light my fire. This wonderful fireplace was designed by John Scott when he designed our house. The inner brick arch is reminiscent of a pottery kiln and gives a full view of the flame and is also wonderful for warming all of one's back.