Friday, October 30, 2009

Blue Iris

This is one of several different iris that grow in my garden. They are just scattered about - not together in groups. They make a lovely splash of colour when they are out and I love the stiff, spear-like leaves amongst the other plants.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Five Sided Kogo

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

Yellow and Black Tiger Moth

This beautifully restored DH82 Tiger Moth is stored in my neighbour's hanger and was out with two other Tigers at the weekend. Having flown these planes many years ago, I still have a very soft spot towards them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stacked Wood

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

Oribe Kogo

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

White Iris

These lovely white iris grow in a clump by some garden steps made of old railway sleepers. I look forward to them coming out each year - it is just a pity that they do not last longer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cylinder with Dark Crusting

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

Blue Spraxia

This clump of blue spraxia makes a pretty showing at this time of the year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Close-up of Hanaire

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

Brick Garden Wall

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

Anagama wood-fired cylinder

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


My neighbour has a large hanger and owns her own aeroplane. Last Summer she had a party and invited some of her mates to come. Not all the planes that attended are shown in this photo. I enjoy the happenings that take place around here!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Silver Birch

The Silver Birch trees have just got their new leaves and some have had very long catkins. The new fresh green leaves on the trees in Spring is always a welcome sight.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Special Bamboo Vase

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

Tear Drop Vase

This tear-drop shaped vase of Estelle's had a hard time in the kiln but came out with wonderful colour and texture.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Floral Basket

Although I have many lovely ceramic floral containers I like using this basket made from natural materials. It was made by Willa Rogers of Nelson and Estelle and I purchased it many years ago and it has been used regularly ever since.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Looking out Workshop Window

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

Foundation Stone Kogo

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


My only excuse for more flower pictures is that it is Spring and the trees and shrubs are looking very lovely. I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sake Bottle

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!