Archive: October, 2010



Shigaraki

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Just returned from a day trip to Shigaraki, one of Japan’s oldest and most famous pottery towns. Besides being famous for beautiful wood-fired pots and massive storage jars, it’s also well known for the Tanuki, a mythical creature who drinks a lot of sake. Shigaraki is starting to feel more like Tanuki Town than an ancient pottery village. They are just everywhere…..tribes of them…. carrying around their little sake bottles.

Pottery is a natural part of the landscape here… you can see many installations, even at the local shrine.  Also every home seems to have the sign of a potter inside.

Walking along, I find many old kilns, some deserted but many still producing.  These are the traditional Noborigama kilns of Shigaraki.  There are hundreds all over town.

Once you get on the back roads, the pottery village feel is still very much alive….

There is definitely an eclectic mix here, from funky installations to the big ol’ sake jugs, but this last image of the wood-fired flower vase is an example of the real style that makes Shigaraki famous.

Miharu

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

It’s a beautiful time of year in Japan…. especially in the countryside where the rice fields have been harvested and the bundles of rice are hanging up to dry.

I’m back in Miharu, staying in the little hut at Sensei’s studio.  The morning glories and gingko are in full effect…..

We fired off the smokeless kiln….

The flames danced around the pots for around 30 hours.  Here are some of my vases and sake bottles that came out, showing the flame markings really well.  Thank you Sensei! See you next time!

 

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