Friday, April 30, 2010

Decorated Wall Bottle

This wall bottle made by Estelle was found on TradeMe and returned to me. It is from our earlier glazed wares and shows Estelle's abilities as a decorator using different glaze colours. When the Japanese master potter was with us he was very impressed as this type of painting was taught in earlier times in schools in Japan. He actually presented Estelle with a very old Japanese book of paintings which were unbelievably similar.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Golden Tainui

This lovely Native plant we planted when we first moved to this house. It was lovely for a number of years but finally died and we have been unable to replace it. The nurseries here certainly do not have any seedlings.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mizusashi from Little Anagama

This pot with the title "Among the Hills" was fired in the small Kamaka Anagama. The firing was about four and a half days long - I cannot remember how much wood we used. The little kiln was very successful but not very economic as it did not hold enough work to make the effort required worthwhile.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Front View of Small Anagama

This is a view of the fire-box end of the small Kamaka Anagama. The foot pedal for the fire-mouth cover is on the right and the one for the side stoking is towards the back of the kiln on the left. It was not difficult to load as all the grating bricks were easily removable so that we could stand in the ash pit and lean forward to load the pots. Next posting I will put on an image of a pot fired in this kiln.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Small Anagama

These are the plans for our small anagama which we used from 1991 through to 2001. It was not really economical to fire as it only held between 80 and 100 pots but still took four and a half days to build up good colour. We used it mainly to re-fire pots from the large anagama that were lacking in maturity and an extra thirty-six hours firing made all the difference to their colour and finish. It was arranged so that, by having foot operated door opening devices, it was able to be fired by one person.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Autumn Birch Tree

The autumn colours in my garden are getting brighter and brighter. I love spring with its blossoms and fresh new leaves but autumn with its clear calm days and lovely colours takes a lot to surpass

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fujii Sensei

The pot shown on my last post was made by Mr Sanyo Fujii and fired in his anagama. We met Fujii Sensei in 1978 and it was from him we obtained the plans for building the Kamaka anagama. In 1983 Fujii Sensei came and lived and worked with us in New Zealand For seven months. The pots he made and fired with us and a selection of ours were shown at a joint exhibition held at the Mitsukoshi Gallery and Fine Art in Osaka in 1984.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tokkuri - Sake Bottle

This Tokkuri was given to us by Fujii Sensei to use as part of the votive offerings made to the Kiln Gods when we fired our large anagama. I understand that the kanji writing represents "Uma" or "Horse" but is written in reverse. A good luck symbol for kiln firings.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Basket with Pomegranate

This Japanese basket together with three pomegranates and some fern makes a lovely arrangement for autumn. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Red Bird Bottle

This is a very early piece of mine copying the Bernard Leach shape on the dust jacket of his book. The pot has been dipped into a saturated iron glaze, the birds painted in wax resist then the pot re-dipped into an ash glaze. It is slab built - not molded which is quite a challenge to be sure all the joints are sealed.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Another lovely piece of autumn colour. This year there are not so many fruits which is a pity as I like to use them as decoration in my display room. They are nice to eat as well.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Persimmon Leaves

These are by far the most colourful leaves on my trees at the moment. Other trees are colouring but this persimmon has not set any fruit and seems to be set on winter coming early. My other persimmon is laden with fruit and has not started to colour at all. They are both the astringent variety but the birds love them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ring Bottle

This lovely Ring Bottle was made by Estelle from a dark clay and fired in our anagama.
Although the fine fern fronds do not show very well in the photograph this container can be easily arranged and looks particularly good against a light coloured wall. It is shown here against the glass in our display room.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


This picture is of a supposedly large bamboo in my garden. It is contained in a concrete surround otherwise it would take over the property. The leaf shapes and stems are always interesting and remind me of the very tall giant bamboos we saw in Japan. I'm glad this one has not grown so large.