Step by step in the quiet rain I head for temples hidden amoungst the hustle of one of Shikoku's biggest cities. Two weeks ago Steph and I checked off Matsuyama from our 88 temple trek. Along the way we stayed at the always fantastic Sen Guesthouse (seriously if you travel through Matsuyama do yourself a favor and stay there!). While there, I got to conversing with the owner about local potters. Matsuyama is home to Tobe Yaki, a place which I am sadly very under educated at the moment. The work that I associate with Tobe Yaki (as I knew it) is traditionaly a white clay body with blue designs painted under a clear glossy glaze. The owners at the Sen guest house assured me that that may be the traditional imagery, but that there is some really creative and absolutely fantastic contemporary ceramics comming out of Tobe.
This is a pot from Asato Ikeda, and I am absolutely in love with his forms. They're loaded with motion and energy. Appearantly the folks and Sen Guesthouse are friends of his and work to help him publisize his ceramics from time to time. I'd love to pic this guys brain, and watch his process for creating such movement within the clay.
As some of you may know my other obsession in life is tiny houses, and I saw this little beauty cruzing down the road on the way to the Kochi Air Port for a business trip to Tokyo. Similarly to my desire to pic the brains of Tobe's youthful potters I would LOVE to spend an afternoon exploring the construction of this little movable cabin. I doubt it is used for camping or dwelling. It is owned by a bakery, but I am willing to bet it could be repurposed to be dweld within. If you asked me why I love tiny houses I don't think I could adiquately articulate my feelings in a clear enough mannor. The biggest appeal of them is that they seem doable! I have always wanted to build my own home, but have absolutely no knowledge of carpentry, construction, and only the very basest of handymanery. Constructing something tiny is a way to get around the daunting challenge of learning all of that full scale. They are also significantly easier to heat, own, make energy efficient, and leave less of an imprint on the world that surrounds us. I could go on for days about hwo freak'n cool tiny structers are and how much I want to make pottery in one, but I won't . . . because that isn't what you're here for.
You're here because you're my friend, and you are curious about my ceramics and life. Now we come to the news that you and I have been waiting for, for weeks and weeks. The kiln repair is complete! There is a bisque firing happening as we speak and Yamatogi Sensei assures me that I can do a glaze firing this weekend if all goes well. Extatic does not do my feelings justice. I have a load of my own work (mostly ochoko and a few tea bowls) to fire, and probably at least a load of tiles from the workshop I did last month during my exhibition.
Thanks for reading! If you get a chance go check out Asato's work. Keep creating.