Happy New Year!

Well, not so new anymore but it feels like it because we had our first snow last night, and it usually snows around the turn of the new year. Predictions are for minus 6 in a couple of days time!  I had to take some photos for an exhibition coming in the spring and thought I’ d take one in the snow while I was at it..



Working dog!

imageMango’s debut up at the workshop today. 8 months old and having destroyed half the house it’s time for a bit of fresh air! She is an amazingly different creature outside of the home, she seems to shrink in size and confidence accordingly. I dont think she was very happy about it today, but I’m sure our other dog, Coco, was glad of the break.



imageIt’s a busy time of year for exhibitions right now. My exhibition at thewonderful Cafe Ma-no starts today with a strong ‘cafe’ theme – teapots, coffee pots, cafe au lait bowls and more. Runs until Nov 23rd.



Day trip to Asuka

image imageWe took a day trip to the ancient city of Asuka near Nara the other day. Chihiro and I are doing a joint exhibition there next month and we went to have a chat with the gallery about that. On the way back we came across this place, named ‘Ishibutai’ which is apparently the largest square burial mound in Japan, dating back to the sixth century. Photos are of above and below ground. As you can see the size and placing of the stones is impressive, the largest of the rocks on top is estimated to weigh around 70 tons!


Frogs eye…

imageThis not so little froggy was outside the workshop the other morning – giving me the beady eye – he didn’t flinch as I crept up to him and intruded with my iphone up close. So many frogs around here, Mango our dog, 6 months old, has taken it upon herself to bring at least one or two into the house everyday recently, unfortunately they are not left quite as robust as the fella up above…


Teapots in the making…



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.


Kneading clay – kikuneri


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 plates..

Carving some bowls and plates recently, the one below is about 40cm wide…
imageThese ones are a little smaller…