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Classical style!

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Bizen Hidasuki Tsurukubi – the crane neck vase

Pots are always transformed when in use – this is a classical Bizen form, very simple and elegant. Thank you to Ishida san for the flowers!


Gallery Ishida Exhibition!

It’s been a while since I sat in a cafe outside and watched the world go buy! In Tokyo for our exhibition at Gallery Ishida in Kichijoji – according to a travel guide, the most popular place to live in the whole of Japan!
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Off to Tokyo!

Off we go to Tokyo! Exhibition with Chihiro starts today and I will be in Gallery Ishida on Saturday and Sunday. Looking forward to the big city!image

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Cherry Blossoms!

imageTen days ago it was snowing here. Yesterday we went for a walk at lunchtime, across from the workshop, and the cherry blossoms were out in full, a beautiful cloudless warm sunny day.  Today it was windy and rainy and in a few more days all the blossoms will be gone.

Every year I come to enjoy the cherry blossoms here more and more. The countryside erupts into flurries of soft whitey-pinks from the bareness of winter and then suddenly they are gone again, as fast as they came. But while they are here now I am aware of how incredibly beautiful and pure they are, the feeling one gets from looking at them and being amongst them is really quite remarkable, almost dreamlike. Something to be treasured.

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Back to work!

It’s time for a new wood roof! The present one has lasted nearly ten years, was built with no experience and even less money. It is now at least 6 inches lower than it was when built thanks to no foundation, rotten posts and the Tamba weather! I am not a great planner and as usual am filled with a slight sense of “what am I in for?” as I start to clear out all the old wood scraps and get ready to tear the old roof down. Here goes and pray for the weather!image


Spring at last!

imageWe had our first outside breakfast of the year this morning and it felt good! A bit chilly still but lovely warm sun on our faces. Our house always seems to lag behind the change in seasons by about a month – so whilst it’s coming up to the end of March outside, with cherry blossoms looming, we’re still burning the last of the wood in the stove in the evenings inside.


Different worlds…

imageMy exhibition in Dar Yasmine, in Osaka started today. As usual it was a bit tight getting all the pots cleaned up and ready in time! Moving from the workshop so quickly to the gallery I’m always struck by the contrasts of the different worlds that pots find themselves in, from the dirt and dust of being cleaned up after the firing to the pristine white shelves and lights of the gallery. From clay to sales, it is truly an ongoing art of transformation.

 


Kamataki – Winter firing

Just finished my winter firing, well a few days ago actually, and a few days to recover. There were one or two blips but in general it seemed to go well. It rained a lot, all day and all night for several days but at least it didn’t snow as it has done before. I’ll unload the kiln tomorrow, just in time for my exhibition starting on March 12th. More to follow soon….image image image


Morning coffee

Morning view of Mt.Mitsuo

Morning view of Mt.Mitsuo

For most of this year so far I have been getting up earlier than I would have believed possible a few years ago. Up at six, let the dogs out and then walk up to the workshop. It takes about ten minutes at a speedy pace and at that time of day it is invigorating to say the least. The main reason I’m up there so early is to light the woodstove in an effort to warm the place up to a workable level and that takes a while. I give the place a quick clean up, sweep the floor and then follows one of my favourite moments of the day, that first cup of coffee. Silence all around, not many people up and about and still a whole day of potential in front of me! I savour those few minutes! It’s all downhill from there on as I head back home for breakfast with my wife and daughter,and back into the real world…before returning to a hopefully slightly warmer workshop !

数年前だと信じられませんでしたが、早起きするようになりました。6時に起きて、犬達を外に出し工房まで歩いていきます。早足での10分ほどの散歩は、体を目覚めさせてくれます。早起きの一番の理由は、工房のストーブに火を入れ、暖めておく為です。ストーブに火を入れ、掃除をした後は、1日で一番好きな時間、朝一番のコーヒーを飲みます。人々がまだそんなに起き出していない静かで、1日が始まろうとするこの時間を楽しみます。その後は、家に戻り家族と朝食をとり、工房が暖まっていることを願いながら、現実に戻っていきます。