Thursday, December 2, 2010



So mom suggested that I do a blog on my pottery class, and I thought that it was a good idea. I already put some pics in one of my other blogs, but here are some more.
Wedging Tables

There are many wheels, so it is nice.

Glazing Center

Here is the place that you can paint oxide that will show through the glaze onto pots. 

This is where Sensei puts the fired ware

This is my shelf
I am making a Totoro for my host mom

This is Sensei

We went to Shigaraki together

This is Peter, who is British.
He insists that he is a great artist.
This is his first semester of Ceramics.
So, here at Kansai Gaidai you can take only one of two art courses. You can take Sumie, or Ceramics. I, of course, took ceramics. I have gotten to learn about Japanese (Eastern) techniques of throwing, and trimming.
 The main difference is that they throw clockwise when we throw counter-clockwise. As most people are right handed the techniques are different because in the west the clay pulls on the hand, and in the east it pushes on the hand. It is kind of hard to describe. The eastern technique uses the right hand on the inside or at 12 o'clock and the left hand supports, whereas in the west we through at 3 o'cock with the right hand on the outside. In Japan we learned to center a lot of clay, then throwing from the hump. It is very handy if you are throwing many small pieces. I threw mostly going counter-clockwise, but I used eastern technique, sometime it was kind of awkward. I tried throwing the other direction, and I could do it, but it was easier to throw the direction I had been throwing all semester. It was insightful into the differences in the techniques. I don't think that if trying to use western techniques throwing clockwise would work very well. I'm sure if you practiced a lot you could, but eastern techniques would work do much better.
Sorry for all of you who are bored sick with technical jargon.
About a month ago, Britany and I went took the train to Shigaraki, an old Ceramics center in Japan. One of the "6 Old Kilns". I would eventually like to go to all of the six old kiln sites in Japan, So far I have been to two. Setto, and Shigaraki. When we got there we rented bicycles and rode to a ceramics center where they have a visiting artist program. I'm sure it is quite competitive to get in. There was a really big hill and some kilns. Pictures.
Big hill

Ceramic pandas at the top of big hill

Grasshopper on ceramic bird house

Still at the top of the big hill

Visiting artist art (ceramic)

Big Pot

Ceramic stools to sit on


There were some people firing a kiln, and we got to put some wood in.
Which, for me, isn't really a big deal, but Britany really liked it.
They were on their second day, and they would finish the next day.
They had food, but we didn't get any. 

This was a kiln right next to the one they were firing. It was cooling.

The cooling Nobori-gama
 We went on to see a museum about ceramics and we saw a shrine with a festival. I also bought some pottery, but I got so caught up in that that I forgot to take pictures. Darn. Shigaraki is also known for ceramic Tanuki, which are a badger-like animal that they use to scare off bad spirits. They are a bit creepy.

Two weekends ago I went to Nara to meet Imanishi Masaya, a friend of Yoshi's (My Ceramics teacher at K-State), who is a professional potter here in Japan. He lives behind a Temple and has his studio and kilns there. I took pictures.

Imanishi san and his wife

Iminish san and me

between the house and the studio

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