This last weekend we had the show in Karatsu. It was a 3 day weekend, so we did Sat, Sun, Mon. Well, if you are thinking about having a show on a 3 day weekend, let me give you a little advice: don’t. Everyone goes somewhere else. The first two days were absolutely empty, and it was only the during the last day that I was able to make some good sales. Thanks to guests from Osaka, Kyoto, and Chiba. I guess they were using the 3 day weekend to get out of their respective areas as well.
Well, lesson learned. Overall, it was still a very enjoyable experience, with lots of time to sit and chat with friends over tea. The highlight of the show was without a doubt, the shiboridashi teapot with the river crab knob. It is a pure silver crab holding a ruby in his right claw.
Sometimes it is nice to change the pace a little, and kick the dust off of the woodworking tools. Usually, this involves making lids for pots.
Some of the nice lacquerware lids you see out there can be quite expensive, especially the ones that are custom made to fit a piece. In my price strata, that usually results in my work doubling in price, because the lid costs so much in relation to the price of the pot. This makes it tough to sell them. For a big name potter, that same lid may be only 1/20th the price of the pot, so it doesn’t influence the selling price all that much.
As a way around the lacquer lids, I started doing things in natural wood on my lathe at home. As a sub for ivory tea caddy lids, I use small pieces of exotic hardwood, or sometimes tagua nut, which is an ethical ivory substitute.
Here are some simple lids I made for the upcoming show. They are fairly ‘quick and simple’, in that I don’t want to spend more than an hour on any one of them, to keep my costs down. I want to have something that looks nice on the pot without contributing to the price. People looking at them can get an impression of how the finished/lidded pot looks, and they may like the lid, or replace it with a lacquer lid later on.
I am not a very good lathe worker, and still end up scraping most of that waste off, rather than a skilled lathe artist who would slice it off, thus avoiding a lot of sanding later. I do it this way because by scraping it is much less likely that there will be a catch, ruining the piece. After finishing the shaping and sanding, the cedar lids get burned and brushed, then oiled. Other hardware lids just get oiled after sanding.
Here they are (remember, clicking on a small image brings up the big image):