Teapots are very time consuming to make; with a body, a lid, a handle and a spout to be made, trimmed and put together, they can fill up your week if not your workshop. I’ve made quite a lot this time round, playing around with small variables, different handles, lids etc. Yamada Jozan III made excellent and beautiful teapots in Tokoname, with a purity of design, function and elegance that kept the softness of the clay.
There are many directions you can go with a teapot, from fun and funky to monastically austere. They are an unusual pot because of the number of parts involved and the need to visualise those parts interrelating before you make. If I’m lucky I get to make about 20 in a day, parts and all, and then put them together the next day or the day after, depending on the weather.
This is a short vid of spiral kneading, kiku neri, or chrysanthemum kneading as it is called over here. It’s one of those techniques that is beautifully simple and marvelously effective at the same time. I have no idea how many times I must have done this over the last 15 years or so…but as the years go by I am happier to wedge a little less at one go ..! Potters aerobics.
Carving some bowls and plates recently, the one below is about 40cm wide…
These ones are a little smaller…
My wife, Chihiro is in a group exhibition in Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo until August 24. She is showing a selection of shawls and scarves. Also exhibited are ceramics, glass, basketry, and woodwork. It should be a fine show!
Today was the sunflower festival in Yuzu. Yuzu is the village where my kiln and workshop are, and the festival takes place about 5 minutes walk away! I always put out a table of pots and it is always a fun day.
It’s an unusual festival in the sense that it has proved to be incredibly successful for a small village festival. Now in Its 13th year it pulls in hundreds if not thousands of people from all over the place just for the day. The organisers say they don’t want it to get any bigger as parking in the small village is difficult! My only complaint is that I didn’t use suncream on the back of my legs and am paying the price!
Moving on well with the woodsplitting and it was a gorgeous day today, very hot (32C) but a constant and strong breeze all day. Beautiful blue skies and wonderful clouds. It makes such a difference to your spirit when you’re working outside and the world is full of colour.
An evening snack Japanese style – as the weather heats up, freshly caught sazae and two small bottles of very chilled locally made sake. Strangely delicious!
Beautiful skies around these parts the day before yesterday – very hot, 35*C – just before Typhoon no.11 descended upon us last night and today, bringing lots of rain but thankfully not too much wind. Nice and cool though this evening.
Jar from the last kiln…
Very wet day today. Lots and lots of rain. I’m glad my woodshed is done and I bolted it to the concrete footings the day before this typhoon came in. Nothing to worry about really, the wind didn’t really come on too strong. And the rain gave this jar a clean!
The rainy season is drawing to a close and time to split some wood before I start making pots. I have a lot of wood, at least 2 kilns worth in log form at the moment, all red pine, and I’m going to get a load split as soon as possible – what with building the roof, moving all the wood around and starting the big split I am really looking forward to getting back into the workshop as soon as possible…