A friend and I were walking in Ginza, and were startled to see what looked like a protest approaching us. Had we ever seen a group parading in the auto traffic lanes of a major street? What could they be advocating? Despite the police accompaniment, this turned out to be a faux march promoting sake. Kind of lame.
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.