Is something dirty happening with this fashionable guy wedging himself into the corner of the JR train, face and body pressed against the wall with one foot in a forward motion gesture? Actually he seemed to be on the telephone, a violation of standard courtesy rules on Japanese public transit. I love how he’s positioned himself into a false sense of privacy.
Posted in ceramics, JR & Tokyo Metro, male fashion, Public space
Tagged body, courtesy, face, false, foot, JR, Moe, privacy, Telephone, train, wedging
Japanese love rainbows! I made this rice bowl for the husband’s sister, and gave it the rainbow treatment because I heard she likes them.
Except perhaps for small town Christian children in the lost part of Amerika, every Amerikan associates rainbows with gays. Not in Japan. Just like men’s plucked eybrows, back-combed hair, outre fashion, and overall vanity, rainbows are not marked as other, different, or marginal.
Why do Japanese love rainbows?
Here’s the backside of the rice bowl.
This is one of my first pottery wheel ceramics. The only reason it looks mostly symmetrical is that my teacher/father-in-law helped me a lot!
Posted in ceramics, male fashion, Uncanny
Tagged bowl, different, eyebrow, gay, hair, marginal, other, pluck, rainbow, rice, vanity
Yikes! I was drawing the third line on the first of three mugs, when suddenly the mug exploded in my hands! I had made the shape, shaved off the excess clay, carved my name on the bottom, and painted three layers of green glaze. Fortunately, the other two mugs cooperated with my decorative efforts.
I have orders for a total of six mugs, due sometime next month.
I did not have a chance to post these photos earlier. Late last month, we had the annual student ceramic show. My second one! I was so surprised to see almost all of what I exhibited: two lattice-shaped bizen vases, six mugs, and a few other bizen vases which I made in May during the studio trip.
In addition to my super loyal customer and Japanese aunt, my university friend bought one piece, as did the wife of a famous antique dealer and several people I do not know. In addition, I am now working on orders for more mugs.
More photos after the jump.
Posted in ceramics
Tagged antique, aunt, bizen, ceramic, customer, dealer, lattice, mug, order, student, studio, trip, university, vase
Our friends Bryan and Thy visited Tokyo last weekend, and stopped by the pottery studio to make chopstick rests. Bryan surprised the teachers and me by saying he wanted his to be in the shape of severed fingers, as an homage to Japanese yakuza. The teachers helped him create his first ever pottery, a full set of severed fingers.
Thy, like some readers of this blog, did not realize that the idea is that yakuza who have made a “mistake” chop their own finger to show remorse to their bosses. I am glad they both had fun making ceramics.
BTW, the student ceramic show begins this Saturday for five days. I’ll be there on Sunday and Wednesday.
Posted in ceramics, men, Uncanny
Tagged boss, Bryan, chopstick, finger, rests, severed, show, student, teacher, Thy, yakuza
I took my friend Barry to the ceramic studio, and he wanted to make ojizō-samas. You can see the three that we made, plus the one that the sensei created. Mine is on the right. Ojizō-samas, related to the Kṣitigarbha bodhisattva, is a guardian of dead children, of souls in the underworld, of travelers, and of firefighters. He is often seen wearing cloth bibs and children’s clothing. What should mine wear?
Here’s an overview of the bizen pottery I made in Numazu with the in-law senseis. You can see the rectangular plates, small round plates, and various flower vases and lattices.
This was my own design, inspired by fruit pie lattices. It’s meant to be a special occasion flower vase.
See some more photos
Posted in ceramics, plants
Tagged bizen, color, effects, flower vases, fruit pie, in-laws, lattice, Numazu, pottery, senseis, surprise, unintended
“Come in lovers,” Numazu’s Jump Hotel beckons. This post is a photo essay on the over-the-top “rabu hoterus” (love hotels) that surround the Numazu bizen ceramics studio. On one side of the studio is a large forested hillside, populated by birds including the lovely uguisu.
The other three sides are dozens of short-term stay hotels, with garish neon, absurd names, columns, statuary, fountains, tikki lights, plastic palm trees, free Wii, and abundant car parking. All of this looks worse in daylight.
View complete photo series
Posted in ceramics, Uncanny
Tagged 555, absurd, Alpha, birds, car parking, columns, fountains, free Wii, garish, Hunny Pot, love hotels, lovers, Mickey Mouse, names, neon, Numazu, palm trees, plastic, rabu hoteru, short-term stay, statuary, tikki lights, uguisu, Watergate
Yesterday I returned from a four day Golden Week ceramic trip to Numazu in Shizuoka, near Mount Fuji and the Izu Peninsula. The in-law ceramics senseis organized this annual trip to use a wood-fired oven to make special bizen pottery.
For three days and nights, we heated a wood kiln until it reached 1200 degrees celsius, taking turns feeding it. It will take another three or four days for the kiln to cool down, so a return trip is necessary to take out the pottery.
Here are some photos that depict some of the process. Below are the 18 or 20 pieces I made: mostly flower vases with lattice tops, ten small round plates, and four rectangular plates.
Read more and see more photos
Posted in ceramics
Tagged 1200 degrees celsius, bamboo, barbeque, bizen, bricks, ceramics, charting, curry, eggs, fire, fork lift, god, Izu Peninsula, kiln, margaritas, meat sauce, Numazu, offering, pasta, pottery, prayer, rice, rice straw, sake, salads, salt, sausage, Shizuoka, temperature, wood, wood-fired, yakisoba
Not literally. But I’ll be in the countryside and away from this blog for the next 5 days. I am going to Numazu near Izu in Shizuoka for a bizen pottery trip with the ceramics senseis. I’ve heard two things about this “country” town: that the Emperor has a place there, and that it has one of Japan’s largest collections of love hotels.
Please check back next week for an update.
Posted in ceramics
Tagged bizen, countryside, emperor, gone fishing, Izu, love hotel, Numazu, pottery, senseis, Shizuoka, trip