Monday, October 31, 2011

Fujina Pottery

The next pottery we visited in the area along the Japan Sea coast was the Fujina Pottery. With these stacks of wood it was obvious that we had reached the right place. This pottery is mentioned in one of Bernard Leach's books and his influence was still apparent in their work. Somewhere along the way they seemed to have lost Bernard's ability to pull good jug handles - theirs were really not very good but obviously made in the Leach style. It was from this area that I got the idea of making lanterns using mostly found materials.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Banshozan Pottery

Unfortunately I was unable to get any photographs of this pottery's work but the kiln was an excellent example of a climbing kiln and their garden was exquisite. The reference to this pottery in the book "Modern Japanese Ceramics" does not fit with my recollection of their work which was more Mingei style. The Banshozen Pottery was situated on the Japan Sea coast South-West of Matsui.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Pictures from My House

These pictures were taken looking out my dining room window where the blossom trees and dogwoods are now flowering beautifully.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Views out my Windows

Here are two images looking out my sitting room window to a black bamboo which was sparkling with raindrops. The other is looking out my bathroom door towards a lovely blossom tree. All my windows and doors look out onto gardens and next blog I will post two more images.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Copper Glazed Pots from Yunotsu.

These copper glazed pots were made by Umeo Yamamoto-san at Yunotsu, Japan. I am not sure whether the colours were from the natural materials he used or the way he fired but I had never seen a copper glaze with so much variation of colour before. Sadly we could not communicate very well so it was hard to be sure of his techniques.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blossom Petals

The weeping blossom tree near the workshop has been very lovely this year but now the petals have ended up floating in my pond.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Clay Crusher

This small water-powered clay crusher was being used but small and in such a picturesque setting it seemed more like a model. We were impressed by the way the potters at Koshibara could put their wet pots out in the sun to dry without any warp-age or cracking. It is something we cannot do in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. If they got an afternoon shower, which often happened in this mountainous area, they rushed to carry the pots inside and just mopped the excess water away. Amazing quality clay.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Koishibara and Onda

Everyone remarks on the wonderful sounds these clay crushers make day and night. If you lived there for very long they would only become background sounds. The clay in this region comes as hard lumps and these water driven clay crushers render it into a fine powder ready to be wet down and wedged ready for use.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Famous Mashiko Kilns

These photos were taken in 1978 - I wonder how they might look now after the March 11th. earthquake. The top image is of Shimaoka's kiln and looks a bit like an earthquake might have been through then. The other is Hamada's kiln with Atsuya and Estelle looking inside. Everything around Hamada's kilns and workshop was very tidy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some pictures from Mashiko

Most potters who get to Japan will make a visit to Mashiko and we were no exception. This bamboo shop was a wonderful place to explore and I wish we had been able to bring some of the things they had home. That is a problem when travelling - how to carry or send things back home. Hamada's workshop and compound was a wonderful experience. Much damage was done in Mashiko at the time of the March earthquake and will take a long time to repair.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Spring Pictures

The top image is one of many flowers on a ground cover that open only when the sun shines on them. The blossom looked so lovely the other day after a shower of rain.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two Kogo from Tokyo Exhibition

When we were in Tokyo in 1978 we saw a most marvellous exhibition of these small incense boxes (Kogo). They were collected by Georges Clemenceau, the French Statesman while he was in Japan. He collected a total of 3,500 some of which were shown at this exhibition from the Montreal Museum, Canada where they are now housed.
I was able to take three or four pictures before I was politely stopped - the catalogue was much better anyway.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Found in Tokyo

This oasis is to be found in Tokyo, the entrance to the Hatakeyama Gallery is very quiet and special. The tiled-roof building is visible from the Hatakeyama entrance and we were told that it was over 400 years old. Wonderful places to search for.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Hatakeyama Collection, Tokyo

These two pieces I photographed at the Hatakeyama Collection in Tokyo when we were taken to see them on our first visit to Japan. This was also where we were first introduced to Chado, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. What a wonderful experience. The Celadon vase is Korean and, of course, the tea bowl is by the first Kenzan. Needless to say this was not the bowl we used for our introduction to the Tea Ceremony.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Spring Pinks

I hope you are not too tired of Spring pictures from my garden but soon it will be Summer and not so many flowers are available to photograph. Our Summers are often very dry and quite hot and my garden suffers as a result.