I stray away from the shape that I normally make with water containers , experimentation is interesting and in a craft that is so based on repetition sometimes hard to break .but hopefully good when one does
As with most of the work I enjoy making , something to be used a connection between maker and user ...a connection to this life
One tries and finds ways of making that bring out the feeling from clay , mistakes and misdemeanors , something that can be made easily from one ball of clay often finds more character from a different journey , I cannot say if this is the correct way of making as I do not believe in a correct way of making , but it is the way that I find most enjoyment from clay and this enjoyment of the process is fundamentally important for makers as it is mirrored in the end product .
The balance of silver and blue , tradition and the background to this piece....that which holds up the madness and fervor of decoration that sometimes wants to wreak havoc with balance
Another form of
I am still learning this new madness ...this new color
The freedom of on-glaze decoration ..the smooth movement of brush over glaze so different to decoration on bisque ware , yet still it takes a few hours to get back into the feeling of this brushwork , one cannot stay to far away from a technique for to long ...repetition is paramount
Decoration of tea bowls
This process is more mundane than actually making the bowls , using a language of pattern and images one tries to imprint something individual to the shape of the tea bowl something that is from ones era and hopefully modernity within tradition .
The soul of the Teabowl can often be said to be in the foot ...when turning the foot one has to try and make a fresh cut full of energy whilst remaining quite . It is always a time of making that is full of anticipation .
For me the time that I feel the most freedom in ceramics is making Teabowls ..... I use anti technique to make the bowls hopefully more free ... more clay like ...to try and take a snapshot of the wet clay even after it has been fired ...yes the movement of clay ..
Decoration is so different to the way that I make my forms ...hopefully still trying to keep freedom within the brush stroke ..
Finding the places between the poem for thoughts and keyholes to the world .
Old Technique from Tajimi
This is an old technique from Tajimi . It is the first time I have tried doing this style . It does look promising for the future . One always needs new -old ways of doing , just to throw a hammer in the works so to speak .
Ceramics is unfortunately about repetition......I have no idea of how many pots I have made in my life ...the 20,000 clasical music hours I did nearly 2 decades ago ...one does not have to think just react ....feelings ..yes repetition
Guinomi one of my favorite things to make .
In Japan many teabowl collectors first purchase a guinomi to see the feel of the pot when using before purchasing ...to me they are small teabowls ....but I think you get away with more in the smaller shape ,.....less gravity ...more freedom ..
sometimes just simple works are fun and also take decoration well
I have always enjoyed making pots that can be held in the hand there is something that just draws me to small works , yet over the years I have started to enjoy making larger pieces perhaps because I have less control over them , I remember after being involved with a workshop in Mashiko with some Korean potters going back to the studio and making some pots like the one in the video above , drinking beer , sweating from the summer heat and just really trying to emulate a bit of what the Korean people were doing , my wife laughter at me and said it was funny watching me try so hard and quite nearly failing but not failing , she told me I was Hetauma 下手馬 a fond memory. I think in life one just has to have fun , try and really not care that much , perhaps a maxim for my making style .
Hip Hop Momoyama
my style has always been Hip Hop Momoyama a phrase a gallery came up for the style of my work when I was living in Japan .
I think the theory of Hip Hop and what was happening in the Momoyama period work well together , one has to mix the old and the new together and make it something that can be recognized as itself . Fusion of thoughts and actions
My love of tradition
Has never faded over the years shapes that I just keep on going back to and hopefully refining and making them more mine . Yet still staying within the traditional bounds .
there are many ways of making many shapes .
Here is an example of making a sake bottle with the base shape closed like a balloon, the balloon holding in the air lets you manipulate the clay that cannot be done otherwise .
There is a fluidity and playfulness in this technique .
A video from a exhibition and workshop in Tokoname
My teacher Koie Ryoji was a surprise visitor ,
He is my ceramic hero-god
Porcelain bowls ....Oribe style
Throwing after many years of making becomes to natural .
One needs to challenge the clay , let it do what it wants and have accidents .
It is like running down a flight of stairs, one wants not to go so fast you fall down
A better pace is where you are stumbling a bit but still have control , not to much control that every thing is tight
This is my making style the heart of Oribe
sake bottle Yobistugi style .
Joining together porcelain and stoneware clay whilst clay is still wet .
a Friedrich Nietzsche poem scratched into clay
Cobalt oxide painting on top