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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hidden creatures

The car is loaded. Now all I have to do is to have a good night sleep and drop the works at the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery tomorrow. Our reliable pet sitter, Tony, Mike's brother, is here, so we could go without worries. Thank you so much!

We just hope that we could go through London without any delay tomorrow morning. Sunbury-on-Thames is located at the edge of Surrey on the border to west London. It is close to Twickenham, the home for England rugby, the Hampton Court and Teddington where I did an art fair last year; Alan and I were selected there for this exhibition. We wanted to visit a few galleries in the Hampton Court whilst waiting for the setting up, unfortunately they are closed on Mondays. We think we have got too little time to visit the Hampton Court. We will see what there is on offer tomorrow.

Here are a couple of photos of the back of the Tree Age. It is one of my latest masks. You can't see them unless you purchase the mask!

The little weasel is hiding behind the tree! 

A couple of rabbits are there! 


Why do I make something people can't see in a show? It's fun! I know they are there. That's sometimes enough for me to make them!

Sometimes my signature is not visible on my works. Only after you break them you can see it.  But please don't break them for that. Once a while, I forget to carve it whilst the clay is dump. So you may not find anything inside and have a broken sculpture!







Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A report form the battle ground

I have done back to back firings on three consecutive days. Glaze-firing - bisque and glaze, again. I'm working hard and long every day. I have to. An exhibition is coming up!

WHITE BALANCE
3 - 29 March 
MIDORI TAKAKI and ALAN EMSDEN


The Sunbury Embroidery Gallery
The Walled Garden, Thames Street, Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey
http://www.sunburyembroidery.co.uk/events.htm


Are you in Surrey or near there? Please pop in!

My studio is a battle ground. After the 1st glaze-firing, it's a battle at each stage. I do multple glaze-firings to get colours right, as you can't remove colours on ceramics once fired, I can only add little by little. Yesterday morning, I found that turquoise blue glaze had become green! I planned everything on pieces with the turquoise blue in mind! I had battled through! They were fired for the second time today. I hope I will be able to see some improvement on them when the kiln gets opened tomorrow.

 A heat gun was yesterday's weapon. Once fired to high temperature, glaze won't stick easily. Chemical weapon was today's choice. 

I use nasty heavy metal for glazes for sculptures, (not for tableware, of course). I usually leave it until the end. They are so nasty that I kneel down on cold tiled floor and heat the pieces with a heat gun and brush them in order to avoid glaze splashing everywhere. 
Of course, nosey dogs want to investigate the hot heat gun and chemical weapon! :D And they think a little whippet sculpture I am holding is a bone! I have to keep them away! 

So now you know what it's like in my studio!  I was too preoccupied to remember to take photos lately, but I remembered to snap today's glaze-firing! 

Oh, hello there! 




Saturday, 21 February 2015

Lots of firings!

I have had an adrenaline fuelled few days. I am doing a firing every other day. I work from early morning to late at night in the studio. That's not so unusal for me before a show, but I had only two hours sleep between 5 and 7 in the morning yesterday. I had kept working until nine in the evening. I didn't feel sleepy! :D

Bisque-firing went well, thankfully. Yesterday I did glaze-firing. Even though outisde was cold, the temperature in the kiln didn't come down quickly. So when I was able to open it, it was already lunch time. All went well except for bronze-gold glaze. That often needs a second firing to get the right finish.

They will be glaze-fired tomorrow. 
Yesterday and today I have been glazing the other bisques. A busy time for me.

Just a quick peek into the glaze-firing kiln yesterday!

Lower shelf

Top shelf

I will talk to you soon!








Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Studio Shelfie!

It has been hectic so far this week. I was able to manage to do bisque-firing today. I started about eight in the morning, and finally downed brushes at eight in the evening. I realised that I was too tired to carry on when I knocked over a rabbit; his ear got broken. Sad. But before I would break any more, I took a tea break.

Inside the kiln looks like this. This time it is only one shelf. It's quite tight!

Bisque-firing
I took Shelfie whilst I was preparing for firing.

Shelfie!
Did you notice the giant Tapir mum? :D If everything goes well, she would be in the exhibition at Sunbury Embroidery Gallery next month or Ceramic Art London in April.


Blue eyed night owl asked me on Twitter what the grey thing was. I showed her this photo. She is an owl! A bit Jazz!

I am an important owl. 

Hoot hoot! It's time for Midori to sleep! Good night!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Curious creatures.

How was your weekend? I had a good working one with a long walk to Sidney Cooper Gallery to see Tania Kovats exhibition yesterday, and today we went to see stand fixture on a-5hour-round trip. We had a lunch at four o'clock!

In the studio, unusual things are increasing lately. She is 24 cm high. She hasn't told me who she is yet. So I'm waiting for her story.




Then I have made these three masks.

She started like this. Masks show different expressions in different angles and different lights.

Work in progress

She finished like this.  She is the Rock Age. In Japan, there are active volcanos. I have visited one of them 2 years after eruption. Black larva was everywhere. There was no tree in sight. It was bleak and all black. I have also imagined about how the Earth used to look after it was born. First there must have been lots of rocks. No life. 


The Rock Age


The second one is the Mushroom Age. Primitive plants started growing.  More and more they started sustaining lives. A few birds came back to sparse trees in the area.  

The Mushroom Age

The third one is the Tree Age, full of life. Lots of birds and mammals among trees.  She is the goddess of life. She has two eyebrows just like Ancicnet Japanese aristcrats.  


The Tree Age

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Saturday was Valentine's day.  Mike gave me white lilies and a box of champagne truffles. : ) He has never forgotten chocolates. He is a chocoholic, himself! :D