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Monday 30 December 2013

Forest girl and Water girl

Hello everyone. Yesterday we had a long lunch with two neighbours. We had a relaxing time with them. How nice! Pearl was getting lots of attention; she was stroked and hugged. You might wonder what happened to Topaz. She was locked in her crate in my office upstairs. Otherwise she would bark nonstop at our guests. So this is good her and for us.

I have made a couple of masks. The three masks I made for the last exhibition gave me a new idea so I am exploring it. Most will go to my Etsy shop. So they are smaller than those in exhibitions.

Forest girl and birds
 I hope I would be able to bisque-fire them next week.

Water girl

Have you seen the new sweet rabbits in my shop? The left one, which is a bit goofy, is much larger than my previous ones. I have three more, so I will list them one by one.  

White rabbits.

Saturday 28 December 2013

Christmas creation and storm

Hello everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas. We chilled out and probably ate a few too many sweets, especially Turkish delights and chocolates! We also looked after cats for a neighbour.

I have also made several little creatures.

Ice Baby
 I made Ice baby for three children over the pond.

Mother dog


And also made several owls. These are larger than the previous ones, You can see very sleep owls!  


The storm we had was the biggest one for some years in our area. Next morning, we saw a couple of fences came down in neighbours gardens. 

Two fences were down.

 When we walked dogs, we discovered more damage caused by the storm. 

Fences were down here ...

and there.

We won't walk near the tree.  

Lots of houses lost ridge roof tile at the corner. We were lucky not to get any damage.
Ridge roof tile fell. 

Then I received an email from a lady in Surrey that she had had no power since last Monday! It's terrible. I hope you are safe and sound.

Pearl decorated!

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Hello everyone. Mike finally finished Christmas shopping this morning. We have stocked up with our sweeties again. We had already finished two boxes of chocolates and one box of Turkish delight earlier as well as my special New Year rice cakes. I intended to keep it until New Year's day, but while we were ill, we ran out food, so I ate them!

New stock of sweeties

Last night we had a storm. I felt the house shaking. I am from Japan where typhoons are an annual thing, even so I was worried if our roof would take off! There were a couple of fences blown down in our neighbourhood, but we were safe.

'Dad has bigger cushions on the tummy! '

In the afternoon, we shampooed Topaz, While she was drying herself in a warm bed upstairs, Mike, I and Pearl watched Narnia and Life of Pi with chocolates. Mike gets jealous if I am putting Pearl on my lap. As I am so kind, I let him hold her. :D It's Christmas!

Next box, please!
We finally put the tree up last night, and started watching Downton Abbey. Last 12 months I had been too busy to watch anything on TV or in cinema. I hope I would be able to relax a bit this year.

Topaz and the tree. 
So finally we are ready for Christmas. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Sunday 22 December 2013

New chapter for my work

Hello everyone. Yesterday Mike and I went to the gallery to do the take down of my exhibition, Clouds, part 2. We went in after lunch to wrap the purchases. About four we started taking down everything else, luckily there weren't many left. Usually people can only collect their purchase after the exhibition finishes, but as it is Christmas, they made an exception. Some works had already been collected earlier.

Messenger from the North - sold
It is very difficult to find a parking space at this time of the year in Canterbury. Mike dropped me off at the nearest car park to the gallery, but he had to go to another car park as there was no space available. Unfortunately it was raining all day, sometimes cats and dogs.
Angel II - sold

A wonderful thing was that I had the chance to meet customers who came to collect their purchases. What a pleasure! It is such delight to meet them. They told me why they are attracted by what I made. It was truly precious. Thank you so much for coming on such a miserable rainy day. You made our day!

Wind - sold

They start their new lives with their new people. They found lovely people to live with. They are very lucky!

Shadow - sold
I am resting today. We had better decorate the tree before Christmas. But from tomorrow, I will go back to my creation. Creating is totally relaxing to me, and that's what I need to do.

Cloud II - sold
I will share some photos of my new work with you over the holiday. 

Wolf - sold

Thursday 19 December 2013

Little owls, hoot hoot.

Hello everyone. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Mike and I are slowly getting better. Flu is such that it affects all parts of the body. So it take a long time to return to full health and strength Take care and don't catch anything, everyone.

Before I became ill, a big news was that a prestigious award winning photographer seemed to pop in my Clouds part 2 exhibitions and bought Shadow, the spookiest mask. I recognized her name as I have seen her name on papers everywhere, and I admire her work. The most surprising thing to me was that such a well known artist is walking on Canterbury High street. I would never have imagined!

Then while I was ill, Messenger from the North, Angel II and Wind found a wonderful home. I always feel that my sculptures choose their persons. They are waiting for the right person to come. I also notice that they seldom make mistakes.

Do you remember my little owls? As soon as I listed them on my shop, they found lovely homes.

Sleepy owls - sold

Wind swept owls - sold
Awww, they are darn cute! Mike wanted to buy them! :D I am going to make more owls soon. I would love to have a pair on my desk, too! They will cheer me up at no end! So if you like to have your own pair, keep an eye on my shop in January!

Sunday 15 December 2013

Black cat and white rabbit for wonderful Kate Brinkworth

Hello everyone. I had been down with bad flu for four days from Last Sunday evening to Thursday. As soon as I got out of the sick bed on Friday, Mike went down with it, and he is now very poorly. It was the worst since swine flu. When I had seismic headache, I peeped from a duvet and asked Mike 'Is it Spanish flu?' He calmly told me, 'It is more likely to be London flu.' Fever had continued for four days.

This flu virus apparently ate a bit of my brain cells. It was so difficult to compose emails on the first day out of the bed. When I tried to think, fever came back! One good thing is that the virus not only ate my brain, but also ate my tummy fat. So, now I will keep slim until Christmas, and then indulge myself with the knowledge that I won't get another flu very soon!

The black cat

During the illness, I had been thinking about a little black cat and a white rabbit all of the time. They are for very talented Kate Brinkworth. I finished most painting on the cat just before I became ill on Sunday. I had planned to glaze rabbits on Monday, and to fire them from Tuesday to Wednesday. Of course, all went off the rail.

Today they came our of the kiln. They look so sweet! When I made the cat, I did't feel right with parts of the head, so I kept it in the fridge to keep working (clay won't dry out). After a couple of days, I happened to see a photo of Kate's black cat on twitter. Then something clicked, and he came out nicely.

Lovely curvy back
Kate is award winning painter. Her work is incredibly detailed and realistic. At first, I mistook them as photographs. Her work is in Alon Zakaim Fine Art on Cork Street, London. She is also a very lovely lady. I was such nice experience to make these little critters for her! Thank you so much, Kate!

Kate Brinkworth website: http://www.katebrinkworth.com/


Sunday 8 December 2013

Masterpieces of Chinese paintings and Vienna portraits exhibitions in London

V&A in sunshine

Hello everyone. Friday Mike and I went to London to see two exhibitions: Masterpieces of Chinese paintings 700-1900 at the V&A, and Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 at the National Gallery. 

V&A - Christmas tree
We enjoyed both. As I do Japanese ink painting as a hobby, seeing Chinese masterpieces was not only pleasure but also very inspiring. I loved nine dragons and detailed scrolls. But lighting was quite dim to protect paintings. So it was a challenge to see the fine details. A lady was using a magnifying glass hung from her neck. I was impressed how prepared she was! One very long scroll called Prosperous Suzhou had such small details that I could almost read like a story book. It took a painter three years to complete it for an emperor.    
V&A entrance

After we came home, Mike found a website of Chicago university. Here you could see better details of some of the scrolls exhibited in V&A. http://scrolls.uchicago.edu/

Eros in a bubble at Piccadilly circus
We got off a tube here to walk to the National gallery

Then we went to the National Gallery. Tickets were booked for 3:30 viewing. They had Egon Schiele,Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and other Viennese artists. Schiele and Klimt have been my favourite artists for a while. But it was joy to discover Oskar Kokoschka. I liked his experimental portraits.  Among Several Klimt, some of which are unfinished, I like Ria Munk On Her Deathbed. She looked almost smiling despite she had committed suicide. Most sitters in later period had tragic ends. Among Schiele, I liked the family portraits including an unborn baby; his wife had died during pregnancy. Unlike other types of painting, portraits carry sitters' lives including the life after the paintings were done. They tell you stories about the sitters and their family.

Cockerel, crane, Nelson and London eye at Trafalgar Square where the National Gallery is.

On the way back at St Pancras, I bought some tea at newly opened Fortnum and Mason. Disappointingly they didn't have my favourite, Keemun. The shop keeper said they ran out of shopping bags!  They must be doing very well.

No Keemun tea -  I want it loose. 

In the meantime, Mike bought our favourite almond croissants at Le pain Quotidien.This time we ate two each. Mike 2, Midori 2

Midori's  grocery
After a supper I painted masks and loaded the kiln. I felt really tired after this. It was a bit too much after a day in London!

Owls and rabbits on a lower shelf - to be bisque fired

Masks, whippets and birds on a top shelf - to be bisque fired 

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Dawn and Dusk - Clouds part 2

Hello everyone. I had a lovely afternoon today. I visited a lady who lives nearby. She lives in such a beautiful house that I was inspired. Clutter free and a full of art she and her husband have collected. She is an artist, too. How wonderful! Her garden also looked very nice in December! Now I have got a bit of time, I should make more effort for our house. I can't keep blaming the dogs and parrots for everything!

Today I am going to share the last of my new work in the Clouds exhibition part 2. This is Dawn. She carries padlocks


This is Dusk. I gave her a pair of cat ears. I left naturally formed cracks on her body and filled with gold enamel. I love the effect. She carries gold keys.


They are separate pieces, but I displayed them together on a plinth. On the night as I set up the previous exhibition, I had a vision of two cats on the chimney breast of the room my exhibition is in. They were cats with girls' faces, not heads like mine. The image kept coming back to my mind, so I made them. I struggled with naming them. First I wanted to call Dawn Riddle, but couldn't find the name for Dusk - Puzzle didn't sound right! After consulting Mike, he came up with Dawn and Dusk.    

Back side

Dawn looks mysterious and Dusk looks a bit happier. I did enjoy making them. I might make more feline girls in future.