Category Archives: pottery

WIT 2012: Okamoto Sakurei

During the fourth and fifth days of the Workshop in Taku 2012: The Simple Teabowl, we were treated to pottery demonstrations by Okamoto Sakurei. He made a variety of items for us using a variety of techniques. On the afternoon of day four, we visited his studio and showroom and he honored us by allowing us to view some of the older pots in his personal collection. Breathtaking Korean bowls, and a couple of Japanese bowls. They were just amazing to hold (and maybe a little bit of fondling happened too, but mum’s the word).

Big Pot

This is the first of some large pots I would like to start working on. This one is slab and paddle work, a garden lantern. It includes holes in both sections so that an electrical line can be run, if the user prefers a light bulb to a flame. This is a test piece of sorts, it will be fired just to see how it reacts to the kiln, then I can start planning other pieces. The piece is about 140 cm tall, and probably about 20kg.

-Posted from iMike

May/June Update

Well, all lot of little things have happened over the last month or so, but nothing really blogworthy all by itself, so I thought I might do an umbrella post for May/June.

First, and what I posted about before, was the Workshop in Taku, 2012: The Simple Teabowl workshop, with Kawakami Mako, Tsuruta Yoshihisa, Okamoto Sakurei, and Maruta Munehiko. We started with a wonderful tea ceremony demonstration and talk, then we moved outside to prepare tea ourselves. The second and third day, Tsuruta sensei demonstrated his pottery making techniques, fourth and fifth day Okamoto sensei demonstrated, and on the sixth day we watched Maruta sensei at his studio. The last evening we had a very nice banquet at Hisago, and Kawakami sensei joined us again for that.

After the workshop I needed to decompress for a couple of days, then found out I’d be needing to go back to the US for the summer, so I moved up my kiln firing schedule to the end of June. Got into the studio to start making work again, and also found some time to bid on a Furo being auctioned off on Yahoo Auctions. A Furo is used to heat water for tea ceremony. Next, after years of looking for a suitable garden hose storage device, I broke down and decided to just make a few which I am pretty happy with, we’ll see how they look after the firing. Several friends came over last weekend and spent much of the day playing on my wheels. They ended up with about 20 pots which will go into the next firing. I wedged up some clay and played too, some guinomi and chawan for the rear chamber. Lastly, I spent yesterday morning gathering wood from the local mill, who sold me three K truck (a very light little flatbed type of truck that is used a lot in the country areas of Japan) loads of mill ends for about $30, a real bargain, so I donated some coffee mugs to their mill office. Hopefully they will get some use out of them.

Well, that’s about it, have a great week!



WIT2012,The First Pottery Demo: Tsuruta Yoshihisa

Here are some pictures from the first pottery demo conducted during the Workshop in Taku, 2012: The Simple Teabowl. Tsuruta Sensei’s demonstration was conducted over the course of two mornings. He did all of his work on a small kickwheel, focusing on handbuilding techniques for teabowls, cups, flasks, and water jars.

The first day he demonstrated coil built bowls, cups, and a flask. The second day he trimmed the first day’s pieces, and demonstrated the coil and paddle water jar.

Thank you Kim and Minna for all of your great photos!

New bowls for Craig

These are some new bowls made from some horrible (awesome) clay. Extremely short, the only things I could get out of it were guinomi and small teabowls. I ended up having to add about 30% other finer local clay to it to make it practical for larger teabowls, but it was still quite argumentative and I ended up smashing many and re-wedging, about 4 times in all. What I finally came out with we’re these.

You can see how they all are on the verge of stretching beyond the limit, and are just starting to tear, but the insides are smooth, and the trimmed surfaces are just really juicy.

-Posted from iMike


An amazing place

At the teabowl festival 3weeks ago, we visited Bongamsa Temple which is normally closed to visitors. We happened to be in Korea on the one day a year that they are open. It has been a meditation temple since it was founded over 1000 years ago.

The monk who gave us the tour asked if we would like to visit a ‘nice’ waterfall a short walk away. This is what we found:

A paradise in miniature…

-Posted from iMike

Location:Bongamsa Temple, Korea