植木鉢

Balcony garden re-made

Balcony garden re-made

Our south-facing balcony continues to be warm and full of sun. I’ve renovated the garden to include a small plant stand by the living room window and several boxes hanging on the railing. The eleven flower pots that weren’t sold are the stars of the garden.

Some of my new plants include winter pansies and kale, grown on top of spring tulip bulbs. Also, a rose from our friend K. And a cool moss-ball, bonsai pine tree from I.

moss-ball, bonzai pine

Students’ ceramics show

Students' ceramic show

Last week was the students’ ceramics show in Nishi-Ogikubo. Fourteen students plus the in-law teachers exhibited their work in a cozy two-story gallery. After just two months of ceramics lessons, it seemed a little early for me. All credit is due to my excellent teachers.

I showed almost twenty flower pots, and put flowering plants in six of them and pre-refrigerated bulbs in several more. I was very surprised to sell seven flower pots– four to my aunt K, and one each to ceramics student S, our friend K from Yokohama, and generous W from Peru and Chiba.

Here’s two other views, an overview of floor 1 and another image of my pots, including the giant one which will soon hold my lemon tree.

Students' ceramic show

I missed it, but I heard that the 11-month-old S who comes to the studio with his mom climbed into the giant pot below.

Students' ceramic show`

More flower pots

More flower pots; glazed

I am working extra hard at the ceramics studio to get ready for the student show on November 21. Above are the finished pots that I blogged on Oct 20.

Below are five more that have been glazed but not final-baked. I am experimenting with geometric designs.

More flower pots; glazed but pre-baked

Finally, I am still experimenting with different shapes. Round with a straight side is the most practical for commercially-bought plants. I’ve also tried square, and below you can see triangular and oval (before biscuit frying).

More flower pots, triangle and oval

I’ll be in the studio a lot over the next weeks.

Completed flower pot

Here’s the completed flower pot, on our deck on a rainy fall morning. Yesterday at the studio, my ceramic teachers surprised me with the glazed and finished pot. It’s about 13 cm x 13 cm. Below is the signature on the bottom of the pot, and you can see the contrast between the black clay and the blue-white glaze.

Finally, here’s an image of otoosan sensei showing off the tong used to remove the pots from the kiln. Nice tool!

Making a flower pot

Feeling a little down this week, I decided that I’d restart my ceramics study at Shiho with the wonderfully gracious in-laws. My first project is a flower pot for the new apartment. I am going with something fairly simple, a straight cyclinder with 3 feet. Okaasan suggested a white glaze on top of black clay.

I’ll try to document the 6 stages on the blog. The first is Form, which involves creating a flat base, and then adding about eight rope-shapes one-by-one, and smoothing everything together. Mine was a bit uneven (see above), but otoosan sensei straightened it up!

Six stages for simple pottery

1. 成形 Form (“seikei”)

2. 削る Sharpen (“kezuru”)

3. 乾燥   Drying (“kansou”)

4. 素焼き Biscuit frying (“suyaki”)

5. 釉がけ Glazing (“yuugake”)

6. 窯焚き Firing (“kamataki”)