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Wednesday 29 April 2015

Wonderful exhibitors I met at CAL

I have been busy packing, posting and planning. Unfortunately we both caught Tonsillitis. It has been so chilly here for April. Not serious, but I've been on Lemsip since last Friday!

Today I'm going to share some photos of the wonderful exhibitors I met at CAL.

Eric Hibelot, Cool Dude

Very French and very contemporary! His stand reminded me of Centre Pompidou! He is such a cool dude. Everyone loves him! I do! His friends are also so lovely, too! I bought a pair of his spoons and gave Mike them as a gift, He loves them. He said 'Wow, so French!' :D We haven't used them yet, as we are still surrounded with boxes! But once we get our sanity and order back, we would enjoy them with our demitasse cups!  

Eric, the cool dude

Jack Doherty - Jack, Susan and beautiful pots 

My left neighbour was Jack. His works are so beautiful that everyone seemed to be pulled into the stand! I was also so impressed with the carefully designed set-up. Everyone seemed to want one or two of his works. Our friend Alan Emsden and Elaine got two cups, and we got one vessel, which, I thought, would be perfect for Ikebana in the summer. Susan is such a lovely lady! I had a good chat now and then.  

Jack and Susan

Jo Davies
My right side neighbour. She is a cool girl. She lives in a narrow boat, which is not so narrow, she said! She is always calm. Her modern design of tableware and lamps looked so nice there! Lovely flowers made her stand so alive!

Anna Lambert

Anna is out friend, print maker, Tessa Pearson's sister.  Her works are beautiful and tender. They bring the countryside to London. All those little birds are delightful! Her lovely partner Dave and their daughter Hester, the cool Physics girl, helped Anna all of the time. How nice!     

Fenella Elms

Fenella is full of joy and fun! Do you know the film Amelie? She reminded me of the character. Her detailed elegant works looked so beautiful. We had enjoyed a good view from our stand. I asked how long it takes her to make one of the pieces. Several weeks. Not surprising. I'm a beige-ivory-taupe girl myself, so I was naturally attracted to her works, but also her lovely clothes, too! We also met her husband and daughter on the last day. She has geese!  

Friday 24 April 2015

How could I forget Rhapsody of Birds?

How could I forget Rhapsody of Birds? :D I forgot to mention in the previous post!

I wanted to celebrate birds, the life of birds. Mike and I love them very much. We live with two parrots and one chicken. We used to have 23 free flying owl finches and 3 Kakariki parakeets. We also take care of garden birds. I have nursed injured birds back to health a few times. We used to go to bird watching. East Kent is one of the best parts in UK to see migrating birds.

I added familiar birds like great woodpecker, blackbirds, egret, moorhen, malard and Indian Ringneck parakeet we saw near Richmond on this mask. But also some imaginative ones like Happy Bluebird - do you know the story a brother and a sister search for a bluebird which was said to bring happiness; so their sick mother would get better?

Rhapsody of Birds - sold

She is, I believe, on the wall of a 3 months-old baby girl. I hope she will bring happiness to the little girl!

Farewell, Rhapsody of Birds.


Tuesday 21 April 2015

Ceramic Art London part 2

On Saturday, we came by train. We were up before five, and I was printing new labels by six! We had a good nap in the train. When we arrived at the Royal College of Art, there was already a queue.

Saturday was very busy again.

A lovely lady greeted me in Japanese. She is Kim Dukhee, a Korean ceramic artist living in Japan. Her Japanese was much better than my rusty Japanese! She has just finished her exhibition in Tokyo and she and her partner flew in to see the show. Amazing! She is very feminine and sweet, and she chose figures just like herself. A lucky anteater and Angel with flowers flew to Japan.

Angel with flowers - sold
Then this rabbit went to a lovely gentleman. The rabbit has attracted quite several galleriests' attention. The gentleman was such a nice person. I told him that he is Japanese rabbit; the one in folklore and Japanese myth. He asked if he had a name. No name. Just Rabbit. But I think he will find the name of the rabbit. I thought they suit to each other. I was so happy for them. 

Rabbit sold
Next, we met the Anteater lady. She has been on Anteater waiting list for a few months. But at the show, she found her special one. The large one and medium one went to her loving home. I am so glad for all of them! After this, I offered my pet anteater. I brought him with me just in case. And he has gone, too. Now I'm pet-less. So I will need to make one for myself, soon!

Giant anteater and her baby! -sold

A nice couple came in late afternoon, and they fell in love with Out of Sorts - Blues. How wonderful! He is one of my tallest sculptures, about 53 cm tall.  I wrapped her very well. She went off to their loving home by car in Knightbridge. How cool is that! He promised that she will be loved. I knew she would be!

Out of Sorts -Blues -sold
Just before the sale of Out of Sorts, I sold a tiny wren to a gentleman. So literally I catered for customers looking for ceramic art of a minuscule to a great size. :D

Sunday we sold loads of smaller pieces. They went like hot cakes. It was an amazing unforgettable weekend. A dozen of friends came, and I met several people I have known for a while on Twitter. It was a great pleasure to meet them. I have also met an Etsy customer. How nice! We have also made good friends there; both customers and exhibitors. 

A lovely lady who has already got my little rabbits from a gallery cleared up the remaining Tapirs and owl. The large tapir is the about 20cm long, my largest ever tapir. Tapir mother and baby went with him! How nice!

We always enjoy shows and fairs. I am very serious when I create my works. As you know, I fire my works until I am satisfied; it could be twice or seven times! It is intense and frustrating. Quite dark and edgy! Compromise is not in my dictionary. But I enjoy shows; talking to people, listening to what they say and talking about art are all fun! Telling customers about the young anteater we saw in a zoo was my favourite time! We laughed a lot. Mike enjoys more than I do! Thank you so much, everyone. You made our weekend!

I forgot to show my stand. Here it is. I was not able to take good photos due to the spotlights, but you can see what it was like. : )

Next, I will share the pics of my neighbours and artists we made friends with! 

Monday 20 April 2015

Ceramic Art London part1

We had a great time at Ceramic Art London. We met wonderful people, we had great fun and amazing sales. Thank you so much for those who came, who purchased my works, who supported from farther afield, re-tweetd, liked and commented. You really rock!   

All usual suspects had gone by the end of the show; Anteaters, Tapirs, Polar bears, Owls  and Doves. Most blackbirds had flown away. Little chubby rabbits have hopped away.

As we were selling larger pieces of works quickly, we brought new stock on both Saturday and Sunday to avoid empty spaces. My stand was very close to the entrance. I am sure that helped. I was also surrounded by wonderful talented artists  (I will share pics of their stands later), so that helped, too! How lucky I was!

There was loads of desk work to do today. We woke up at 5, but kept going with several cups of black coffee, really strong ones. I had received a few orders online, so I packed them and posted them to a lovely ladies, too.

We're still on adrenaline. But I hope we will be back to normal tomorrow. Poor Mike had to go back to work in the afternoon, as it is a busy week for him. But we took our dogs to a little woods to see Bluebells late morning. That was lovely!

As for large works, here are a few pics of sold works at PV and on Friday. Freedom of speech, my baby I protected from the fall, went to Cool Dude, Eric Hibelot, Wonderful French ceramic artist.

Freedom of Speech - sold

As for larger pieces, at the start of PV, Freedom of Speech was claimed by wonderful French ceramic artist, Eric Hibelot. Do you remember I fell from the chair and hit the head to protect him?  I put a red dot as he would be collected at the end of the fair. Eric came every evening to say 'Good bye, my baby!' before he left the building. How lovely is that! He is warm, funny and so natural! I'm his fan! I got two of his porcelain spoons for Mike. (I will also share the pic later)

Into the woods - Sold

Into the Woods went to a lovely Irish lady first in the morning on Friday. She flew in for the show. My mask flew back to N. Ireland with her in the afternoon. Amazing! I carefully wrapped him. I hope he traveled safely!

Princess of Noisette - Sold

Then, a lady customer from Teddington chose Princess of Noisette. I am a bit attached to her, so I was so happy that she is going to live with the nice lady. 

Next to go was Forest Girl-Primavera to a family with a lovely new born baby girl.
Angel - sold

Then Angel with crown went to find a lovely lady's loving home.

Dog - Sold

The wall became a bit bare, so I arranged a bit and hang Dog mask. Soon after that, a lady who bought a sleepy owl came back 'just to check' before leaving. She pointed the Dog, and said it wasn't there. I explained. She said 'It must be the fate.' I nodded. They went back to her home together. It was already after six. 

What a day! 


Tuesday 14 April 2015

Rhapsody of Birds

Midori Takaki HQ is in chaos. Packing materials are everywhere and boxes are all over the floor. I have packed most works. I hope they will travel safely!

The wolf gained the spot for the last firing this morning. I was at it with a heat gun before eight this morning. I will know the result tomorrow.

Here is the last mask to be fired. Rhapsody of Birds.



Sunday 12 April 2015

Ceramic Art London 17-19 April, The Royal College of Art

I will be in Ceramic Art London, 17-19th April, at the Royal College of Art, London. My stand is no.4. I will showcase my works: beautiful, terrifying, sweet, ugly, beastly and poignant. Do come along!

Today's shelfie! The Bronze-gold glaze is back! Mike made it for me just before an England friendly football match last week. He somehow helps me a lot just before watching England matches on TV! I have tested it since then, and it came out beautifully. Here is the lower shelf.

Bronze-gold glazed whippets and birds
And the top shelf. I finished glazing the Bird Life a long time ago, but she is so large that I was not able to fit her in for firing. There are lots of birds on her.

What is this? New blind? Nope! We did a mock-up for the CAL stand today. The stand has 250cm high panels. Our ceilings are only 240cm high. So we decided to do it in the garden.  

Preparation is going well, and I have only a couple of firings to do if today's ones come out well. Fingers crossed!


Saturday 11 April 2015

Numerous firings and still more!

What a week! I'm battling through numerous firings, glazing and re-glazing. 11 hours a day is normal now. This time I have two large masks; each fills the kiln itself. Both will need refiring. This is causing delay and agony. Time is running out, and one of them probably wouldn't make it.

After the first glaze-firing
 More bisque-firing to do.

Lower shelf

Top shelf
They were so close to top!

Wolf got bisque-fired.

Then he went to glaze-firing.

His nose was also so close to top! 

After the first glaze-firing.

Another glaze-firing.

Wolf needs a repair, so he went to another bisque-firing. There are little birds around him!

Space is precious. There are little critters under him!

While I was in the long battle, Mike told me he saw beautiful anemone on the campus. I hope they will last long enough for me to see after the show. 

Sunday 5 April 2015

Working as if there were no tomorrow!

Happy Easter, everyone! Midori Takaki HQ has been unaffected by Easter! We have been working as if there were no tomorrow! I am not a morning person, but I start glazing before nine. That's tough. I work after eight in the evening. I feel so exhausted I collapse in bed before nine. That has been our Easter. Mike has been making display boards, making glazes for me and doing all other things that have to be done.

A week ago, the big head was bisque-fired. It was really tight.

 Then, back to back bisque-firing started.

Lower shelf

Top shelf
 In the meantime, I have made more. Here is Forest Girl-Spring.

Forest Girl

 Then another back to back bisque-firing. This time a Wolf. His nose is in the morning sunshine!

While the wolf was being cooked, I had to clean the studio tables to glaze all bisques. I'm having a bit of shortage of space here. The guest WC is already filled with my greenware!

Next day is back to back glaze-firing! 

Lower shelf

Top shelf

Today, the big head was glaze-fired. Tomorrow another back to back-firing with bisques. These will continue for a week or so!  Madness here!