Thursday, June 28, 2012

Loading the Kamaka Anagama

This is a selection of tokkuri (Japanese Sake bottles) by the kiln ready to be loaded.  The ones on the left were by Fujii Sensei the others by Estelle and me.  The second picture is of the 2nd. stack inside the kiln showing some of the tokkuri placed on the floor of the kiln where they would be covered by the ash and embers from the side stoking port visable at the upper left.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Kamaka Anagama

The Kamaka anagama is about 500 cub. ft. and was usually fired over a nine to ten day period.  The wood stacked in this photo is only about one third of the total we used in a firing.  Once the fire was established we would stoke with  large bundles of wood every five to seven minutes twenty-four hours a day for the full length of the firing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Early Blossoms

These photos were taken yesterday morning which was our winter solstice.  This is a Japanese "Ume", or apricot, called "Geisha". It is perfumed and comes out at the end of May and has been flowering for three weeks or more now. Lovely to have in the middle of winter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Okinawan Pots

There were no problems with taking photographs at the Shuri Museum in Naha, Okinawa.  The pots there were quite different than those of mainland Japan.  I liked this teapot and the hand warmer would be most useful these cold mornings.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Korean Pots

These very early Korean pots were rather hard to photograph.  Not only were they behind glass in the museum but I had to wait until the armed guard was behind a large pillar (and facing the other direction) before I could use my camera.  No photography was allowed and discrete iPhones did not exist at that time - these were taken with my OM1.  Lucky I am still here to show them to you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Last of Autumn

It is nearly time to cut the Miscanthus down but the colour is just lovely at the moment. These strange fungi come up each autumn and I am always intrigued as to how these five sided shapes form and for what purpose.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two more Pictures from Japan

These two pictures are from Yamasaki, near Himeji City, Japan. There are very few of these old style houses to be seen nowadays - most have had their roof thatch covered with sheet metal.  The area around Yamasaki is very lovely with the forested hills and rice fields.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Two Very Different Pots

These two very different pots I photographed while in Japan.  The large tsubo was from Okinawa and shown as part of the Osaka Museum's collection. The ikebana container was exhibited at the Ikenobo Kaikan in Kyoto.  I have tried to make similar containers working with slabs and, although quite successful, were never as elegant as this one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kanzaki Pottery,

One day, when we were travelling from Himeji City to Izushi, we were taken to visit the Kanzaki Pottery where they were making fine porcelain.  It was intriguing to watch as the perferations were cleared from the castings and the pieces readied for glazing.  Their glazes were exceptionally beautiful.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some Old Japanese Houses

These glorious "Praying Hands" houses are now found mainly in special collections of old houses.  This one, and the "Sawmiller's House", were both at Takeyama which is a wonderful place to visit if you are in Japan.