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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

New pots from a kiln

We had a bit of snow here in Canterbury this morning. But in mid afternoon, weak sunshine appeared. So I took some photos of the pots in this feeble winter light. Our windows are reflecting on the glaze, but these are the shots I can share with you today. 

Oribe bowl detail
What is really endearing about this pot to me is that it shows every detail of how it was made. I left throwing marks as usual, as you can see from the side of the pot. Glaze become thicker there, and it gives depth to the colour. The places where green oribe glaze meets cream glaze become elegant metallic grey, brown and black in such delicate patterns. They remind me of the parts where the brown parts and white parts of faun's furs meet.
Oribe bowl
The black part inside the rim is where I poured out the cream glaze. It is a bit like looking at the strata of earth. The bowl shows its own story. I dare say that is very much Japanese spirit. 

My pots are thin. So it restricts the amount of glaze bisque fired pots can absorb. As a Japanese, I reject any thick pots. We say,'there are no good thick pots'. In Japan, we handle pottery a lot. Its table manner requires you to lift your bowls, small dishes elegantly while you eat food with chopsticks. Only tableware we don't lift are serving dishes and plate. You see, in Japan, all foods are usually served individually in each dish or plate for each person. Every bowl, cup and dish have to be light weight enough for willowy Japanese ladies to be able to lift. You also have to mix the different pottery to present well. It shows seasonality and cook's aesthetic. Using matching table set, like English tableware, are not chic. I know you have seen old Japanese Imari dinner sets before. But those were only made for exports, and I am afraid to say, but not by the best craftsmen, but by their apprentice.

This is a small lady's yunomi (cups for green tea) made for our friend, Anne. Although I call it yunomi, but she is going to use it as guinomi (cups for 'sake'). Although I love this yunomi, but I will send this to re-firing. Cream glaze inside seems too thin. This is our new batch of the glaze, and we probably made it too watery.   If re-firing fails, I will make a new one for her.

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