Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet Inspiration

Do you see what I mean? Maybe it's just a Japanese archetypical shape. Funny how the mind works,no?

Lantern Show

I threw a whole collection of parts for the lanterns yesterday,largely by guesswork,but referring to pictures I took in Japan and net sites,using my rough tough [but soft] stoneware mix. This morning I got to play with them [top picture] ,and had a disgracefully good time re-arranging elements,trimming,squaring and assembling. One of the beauties of these lanterns is the lack of attachment - nothing is stuck together [except the knob on top] so you can keep playing with them. Looking at them now,the more rounded one,inspired [I thought] by some ancient lantern spotted in an Imperial Park in Kyoto, suddenly reminds me of a strange device I noticed on "Akihabara News" just before I sat down to throw...let's see if we can find the picture...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mixing Clays

Helen wafted through the studio and remarked on how nice the clay looks in this state: she's right [as usual] and reminds me of one of the original motivations for this blog- to show some of the behind-the-scenes beauty normally reserved for the observant potter in his studio.
Here I'm mixing a very rough red stoneware with a slightly milder version of the same clay and a bag of my regular stoneware with a view to concocting a Japanese Stone Lantern mixture. Ever since Sydney and I got back from Japan the shapes of those lanterns have been floating around in my mind,and I think it's time to have a go at a few,and see what they look like transposed into clay. Now to wedge this lot up until it has a uniform colour. Maybe throw in some different grog,maybe some Shigaraki feldspar,and probably a pinch of Mashiko dust,for that authentic Eastern flavour.I'm supposed to be doing something else today,but this activity suddenly burst in and asked to be taken care of [I think the trigger was checking out a website where someone tried casting a lantern from a cement mixture].

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fancy Feet

A quick click on the title should whisk you to the brief [low-quality,no fancy transitions] video showing how to make those feet.

Lugged and Legged

There was a low shelf left to fill in the bisc kiln,so I made some square bakers: then I decided that they would look nice with feet,and by the time I'd added those,they no longer fit under the low shelf...
Just in case you don't know [or can't work out] how to do these feet,I'll attempt a swift video...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Shvil Israel

Louis and Esther are taking a year or so to walk this public path from Dan [north] to Eilat [south]: young folk [whom one meets on the path,carrying bedrolls and heavy-looking backpacks] do it in 6 weeks non-stop,often after army service. I joined them for a short but varied section of Wadi Dishon,in the area of the Circassian village of Rehania. What a beautiful country we live in! Shabbat Shalom!