750 and counting

I am up to about 700-750 bowls. I haven’t counted since I switched clays. I am now into the work that will fit into the second chamber. It fires at a medium reduction and I will glaze it either with a feldspar, ash or black glaze. I am using a number of clays. Raw clay from Awaji Shima for the black and kohiki. A mixture for the Karatsu type firing.  I am going to do something I never do and do some test firings so I don’t screw up a full room which is about 300 bowls. My goal is about 1,000 bowls but it looks like I will roll in at about 1,200.

I have learned a tremendous amount about making bowls and Japanese esthetics in this project. I posted a couple of days ago about going to a restaurant in Nara-machi. While there I saw a small cup, only about 2 cm. in circumference and about 4 cm. tall. I didn’t take a picture of it as at the time I was only excited about seeing it. After leaving the restaurant I realized, was able to put into words, something that I have been thinking about for a long time. That cup was natural, unassuming, beautiful and simple. My realization was that I have become very bored with the majority of work I have seen lately. What I was able to put into words is that most work I have been looking at seems to be following a very strict regimen of form, color, and convention. Formulaic.  I am talking about both Western and many Japanese potters and most of it tea bowls. It was refreshing to see that little cup, used to store toothpicks. After that realization I got an order from New Zealand for a number of bowls. The person who ordered it mentioned Jay Strommen. I had never heard of him and I also found his work refreshing.

The reason for doing this firing is simple. I have no idea on what to do next. I am not selling that much lately. I decided to do something I really like. Make bowls. 1,000 of them. My conventions, rules, are simple. 10 a day. . I guess selling them is the next logical step. I am happy I am not logical At this point that is all I can figure out to do.

I am not able to fire my new kiln as I have ‘lost’ my assistant. I know where he is so not lost in that sense but he has taken a day job and seems to have lost interest in spending 4 days in front of a fire breathing dragon that acts in irrational and counter-intuitive ways.

I am talking about the kiln.

I am still trying to figure out how to get the big snake kiln fired and I do  have some ideas but haven’t started working on them yet.

I have closed my Etsy store for ceramics and opened a new one. I had some guy trying to do some kind of insurance scam or something with one of my bowls. The short of it is he got very unpleasant when I suggested he needed to go to the Post Office to file a claim for a package and so I have  decided to start over on Etsy. Feng shui My new store is here, http://www.etsy.com/shop/NanbanCeramics1 You will notice I have a nice banner like thing at the top.


About togeii

I have lived in Japan for 19 years doing ceramics almost the whole time. I have a wood burning noborigama and a long snake kiln.. I
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