Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shigaraki, Walter and Dorothy Auman, Warm Sound

Tuesday - Clay Share
Muromachi period (1392–1573), 14th–15th century; Shigaraki ware, Japan,  Jar image is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
In Japan, Shigaraki ware(信楽焼) is pottery and stoneware made in Shigaraki area, Japan. The kiln is one of ‘The Six Old Kilns’ in Japan. (The regional blocks in Japan consisted of Seto, Echizen, Tokoname, Bizen, Tamba, and Shigaraki.) Three of the earliest kiln sites may date back to 1278. (Thank you to Wikipedia!)
An additional *Bonus Day has been added to this year's North Carolina Potters Conference​ at STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise​, March 5, 2015. On Thursday morning Shizuko Kohara will be presenting a slide talk about Shigaraki. Registration is still open with spaces filling up. Image of jar is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Thursday - Potters Pick.
Walter and Dorothy Auman
Walter and Dorothy Auman -I think the photo is by Rob Amberg
Walter and Dorothy Auman, Seagrove Pottery, Seagrove, North Carolina. Great advocates for North Carolina Pottery. They were the 1989 North Carolina Heritage Award Recipient given by the North Carolina Arts Council.

Video: Mr. Friday trying his hand at pottery from UNC TV 1989 .... quote from "Dorothy and Walter Auman operated the Seagrove Pottery from 1953 to 1991. They were tragically killed in an automobile accident in October 1991. Dorothy was an eighth generation potter. This interview was originally broadcast on May 8, 1989 on location at their pottery shop in Seagrove and features Mr. Friday trying his hand at pottery."

On the last day of the North Carolina Potters Conference (hosted by the Randolph Arts Guild), there are three morning presentations.  These lectures are dedicated to the memory of Walter and Dorothy Auman, who were instrumental to the starting of the North Carolina Potters Conference​, working along with Dwight Holland and Mark Hewitt. This is a time when the conference attendees can sit back at the Sunset Theater and listen to the speakers' various passions about ceramics, creativity, and culture.  This year's talks are: "Contemporary Japanese Ceramics" by Fuku Fukumoto, "History of Japanese Ceramics - How Japan Supports So Many Potters" by Yoshitaka Hasu, and "Influences, Japanese and American Ceramics" There are spaces still left for this stellar NC Potters Conference!  The North Carolina Potters Conference takes place the weekend of March 6-8, 2015 with a bonus day on Thursday, March 5 at STARworks, Star, NC.

Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
Zero 7 - Warm Sound

You can see this video and more images moving to music at XDarkLeoXGC Youtube Channel.

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Making and Enjoying

Samantha Henneke rotating her thrown bowls for trimming, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
We are enjoying some days of studio work.  Mixing throwing and preparing for a crystalline glaze kiln.  It is also yunomi time, preparation for the annual AKAR Yunomi Show.  We have been working towards the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference on March 6-8, 2015. For this year's NC Potters Conference, there are added extras to the usual three day event. One addition is an added, optional bonus day at STARworks in Star, NC on Thursday, (March 5, 2015). There is also a special presentation by Judith Duff at the North Carolina Pottery Center, about the influence of Japan on NC Potters, on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:00pm.

Our weekly Clay Share's and Potter's Pick have been focused on the upcoming NC Potters Conference. It is truly a unique and special weekend that is being planned, and many members from the Randolph Arts Guild, STARworks, and potters from Seagrove are busy getting ready for 150 plus attendees visiting Asheboro.
Bruce Gholson preparing vases for a crystlalline firing, Bulldog Pottery, Seagrove, NC
We visited Bobbie Thomas of Thomas Pottery and saw her cat baskets on her pottery table.  I pointed it out to Bruce and suggested that this could be a good solution for Koi. Koi insists on hanging with Bruce and trying to make a bed in his plastic. So far, so good. Koi likes her new place and is looking forward to an upgrade someday. Gloria brought in a lovely basket yesterday with high sides and lots of room for a blanket. Maybe a bit big for Bruce's table but could be good for a front window spot.

Kitty cat Koi enjoying her new box top bed
The pottery from Japan arrived last week at the Randolph Arts Guild.  In these wooden crates are ceramics made by Peter Hamann, Yoshitaka Hasu, and Fuku Fukumoto. These pieces go on sale late Friday afternoon I think at 5:00 but the time could be 5:30.  There also will be pottery by California potter Sandy Simon.  This is an excellent time to purchase some unique pieces for your pottery collection.  There will be examples of porcelain works by STARworks visiting artist Yoshiki Onoyama on view. We are also pleased that we will have a small exhibition set up of examples of historic Japanese pottery.  This show is open to the public to come see. Please do! The Randolph Arts Guild would love to see you and share their place with you.  Oh! and one more thing, the potters that attend the conference will be bringing 5 pieces of their work to show and sale. You definitely need to make a trip to Asheboro. #NCPottersConf
Japanese Pots arrived at the Randolph Arts Guild just in time for the NC Potters Conference

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Book of Tea", Peter Hamann, "Snowflake" Bentley

Tuesday- Clay Share 
"The Book of Tea"
"The Book of Tea", by Okakuzo Kakuzo
In 1906, Okakura Kakuzo wrote "The Book of Tea” for the western audience. He wrote this philosophical essay in english, and it focuses on the role of tea (teaism) to the aesthetic and cultural aspects of Japanese life. This book has been printed many times since 1906 with the most recent printing in 2010 and an expanded edition in 2011. Our copy was printed in 1926. You can download this book onto your tablet via the Gutenberg Project

This year's North Carolina Potters Conference​ will include a portion of the Tea Ceremony on Saturday afternoon and a presentation on Thursday morning titled  "The Japanese Tea Bowl, Context & Perceptions" by Peter Hamann. Peter will be assisted by Shizuko Kohara for the Saturday Tea Ceremony, both are Tea Masters.

"The Book of Tea", by Okakuzo Kakuzo

Thursday - Potters Pick
Peter Hamann
Tea Caddy made by Peter Hamann, Sasayama, Japan
Peter Hamann says "no matter what type of piece I make, my deepest wish and highest goal is to make pieces that people will enjoy viewing and using as much as I enjoy making them." Peter specializes in celadon porcelains... making forms including carved vases, covered jars, tea caddies, and tea bowls. Peter is a Tea Ceremony master and travels to Osaka weekly to study, and he puts on several major Tea Ceremonies a year. Mr. Peter Hamann is a native of Nebraska and has called Japan his home since the early 80's.  

Peter will be a demonstrator for the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference, Asheboro, NC, March 6-8, 2015. Peter will also be conducting a Tea Ceremony Saturday afternoon. A very special treat for all those that attend the three day conference with optional bonus day at STARworks on March 5, 2015. Registration is filling up fast!   #NCPottersConf 
Peter Hamann, Sasayama, Japan

Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
"Snowflake Bentley"
Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931)
No two snowflakes are alike----- This discovery was made in the small rural town of Jericho, Vermont by Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931).

"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.".....Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley 1925

Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931)
We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Japanese Tea Bowl, Fuku Fukumoto, Shinrin Yoku

Tuesday - Clay Share
The Japanese Tea-Bowl
The Japanese Tea Bowl, drawings by Rob Flye
During the past month of January and this month of February we are preparing for the North Carolina Potters Conference coming up on March 5-8, 2015. We have been reading and researching about Japanese ceramics and culture.  We are looking forward to Peter Hamann's presentation on Thursday morning at STARworks about the 'Japanese Tea-Bowl'.

Surfing on the world wide web we stopped on the website by a Washington high school teacher named Rob Flye. He has good images of Jack Troy, information about Japanese ceramics, as well as 33 pages of links to different clay artists from all over the world.  We thought the drawn images by Rob Flye are perfect for this week's Clay Share. The Japanese Tea-bowl and its myriad shapes are ubiquitous to clay culture.

 As potters we all seem to love making them.  There is a famous Yunomi invitational show at AKAR, a gallery in Iowa City every year.  AKAR invites around 200 potters to send 5 Yunomi's each. Yunomi's are a casual drinking cups that are taller than they are wide.  These cups are for sale online only. This years show opens on May 15, 2015. The cups sell incredibly fast, so if there is a particular yunomi you want,  you need to be preregistered and on your computer right when the show opens.

Rob Flye's website is encouraging, and has good information to read, we are looking forward to investigating it more. "Welcome to the homepage of Rob Flye, and his art students at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, WA. Here be things of interest to high school ceramics, photography and comics."... Rob Flye

Information extracted from Wikipedia..... Tea bowl (茶碗 chawan?). Tea bowls are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, and different styles are used for thick and thin tea. Shallow bowls, which allow the tea to cool rapidly, are used in summer; deep bowls are used in winter. Bowls are frequently named by their creators or owners, or by a tea master. Bowls over four hundred years old are in use today, but only on unusually special occasions. The best bowls are thrown or formed by hand, and some bowls are extremely valuable. Irregularities and imperfections are prized: they are often featured prominently as the "front" of the bowl.

The Japanese Tea Bowl, drawings by Rob Flye

Thursday - Potters Pick 
Fuku Fukumoto, Kyoto, Japan
Vase by Fuku Fukumoto, vase image from Fuku's website
  Fuku Fukumoto draws inspiration from the moon, sun, and stars.  Her ceramic forms are refined and elegantly crafted with undulating rims and stacking elements. Fuku works with  unglazed satiny smooth porcelain surfaces, playing with the contrast of colorful glazes.

Fuku Fukumoto will be included in the upcoming exhibition "50 Years / 50 Women : A Celebration of Women in Ceramics" organized by Alex Kraft, Anthony Merino, and artist/media consultant, Melanie Shaw. This exhibition takes place in Kansas City, 2016. One of Fuku's ceramic pieces is also included in the exhibition "Into the Fold: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection" from October 7, 2014 - July 15, 2016 organized by The Harn Museum of Art.  This exhibition highlights the diversity, creativity, and technical virtuosity of 20th- and 21st-century ceramic artists working in Japan.

We are proud to have Ms. Fuku Fukumoto as a demonstrator for the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference​, Asheboro, NC, March 6-8, 2015 with a bonus day at STARworks on March 5, 2015. Visit Fuku Fukumoto's website to see more of her ceramic works.

Stacking Bowls by Fuku Fukumoto, bowl image from Fuku's website

Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
Shinrin Yoku - Forest Bathing
Bulldog Pottery Woods, photo by Samantha Henneke
Everyday we get to look out into the woods. We find it very comforting and a focal point for us to look at as we go in and out of the studio. Last year someone shared an article about Shinrin Yoku - forest bathing.  It may have been this article from the Huffington Post, "Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Practice That Could Transform Your Day". When I did my 365 day picture project in 2013, I loved to walk into the woods to find my picture for that day.  During the year I witnessed changes in the woods from gurgling trickles of water to fast flowing streams depending on if it was raining or not.  I saw the unveiling of ferns and changes in the trees.  On January 28, 2013 my picture titled "Mahna-mahnam", reminded me of the famous song by the Muppets.

"Mahna-mahnam", January 28, 2013, from Samantha's 365 picture a day project during 2013
One of my most favorite views during our day is from outside the forest, looking into the dappled light that shines through the trees and onto the ground. We love the depth that the shadows bring and the mystery of what is out there in the woods. I wonder if there is a word for gazing into the pond or pond bathing, because that is a wonderful practice too.  

Bulldog Pottery Woods, Image by Samantha Henneke

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Kurinuki, Hasu Yoshitaka, Sphere Inside Out

Tuesday - Clay Share
Kurinuki - Demonstration by Lucien Koonce
Kurinuki - Carving out a shaped solid block clay to obtain interior space, photos by potter Lucien Koonce
'Kurinuki' is a Japanese term relating to a particular hand-forming process. This technique employs carving out a shaped solid block of clay to obtain interior space. We want to thank Lucien Koonce for sending us some great photos of this process.  We met Lucien when we first moved to Seagrove, North Carolina.  We remember taking a class at the Randolph Community College together in the late 90's on how to take professional photographs of our pottery.  In 2008 Lucien left North Carolina and now resides in the western Massachusetts village of Haydenville, where he maintains Horsepen Kiln Studio. His ceramic work consists of hand built functional and sculptural forms, which are wood fired. We have kept in contact with Lucien on Facebook and have enjoyed following his studio work.

 To see more of Lucien Koonce's ceramics art work visit Lucien Koonce website.

Lucien Koonce

 Thursday - Potters Pick
Hasu Yoshitaka
Yoshitaka Hasu, Iga, Japan
Yoshitaka Hasu, a Japanese potter from Iga makes functional as well as sculptural works. Mr. Hasu apprenticed with Shiro Banura during the 1970’s and stayed in Iga to set his roos and build his wood kiln. Mr. Hasu  makes work with the philosophy handed down from Rozanjin to Banura, “who advocated living with art through serving fine food with beautiful handmade utensils and decorating with flowers in exquisite vases…this philosophy blurs the distinction between utility and art.”

*information extracted from Touching Stone, a gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico,
        "During his career, Hasu has produced some of the most exciting original work built upon the Iga tradition. He works like a sculptor. Using a technique called kurinuki, he carves out exterior forms and scoops out the interiors, paring away anything superfluous to distill out the strongest lines unique for each piece. His works are powerful, direct and dynamic. Another hallmark of Hasu’s work is the dramatic decorations created by combining beautiful natural ash glaze with black iron glaze, a process that requires sequential firing and intimate knowledge of the materials."

To see more of Yoshitaka Hasu’s ceramics visit the gallery Touching Stone in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

North Carolina Potters Conference - March 5-8, 2015
Yoshitaka Hasu will be a demonstrator for the upcoming North Carolina Potters Conference in Asheboro, NC, hosted by The Randolph Arts Guild.  The Randolph Arts Guild is located on Sunset Ave. in downtown Asheboro.

On March 6-8, 2015 there will be three Japanese pottery demonstrators up on stage simultaneously - Mr. Hasu will be joined by Peter Hamann and Fuku Fukumoto.  Mr. Hasu will also give a presentation Sunday morning about "History of Japanese Ceramics - How Japan Supports so Many Potters".

This year there is a bonus day at STARworks on March 5, 2015, with presentations in the morning by Shizuko Kohara on "Shigaraki" and Peter Hamann will talk about the "Japanese Tea Bowl" and in the afternoon there will be a demonstration by STARwork's visiting artist Yoshiki Onoyama.

You can registrar online at Randolph Arts Guild website.

Yoshitaka Hasu, Iga, Japan

Sunday - Playing off the Instrument
Sphere Inside Out

It is possible to turn a sphere inside out in 3D-space with possible self-intersections but without creating any crease, a process often called sphere eversion (eversion means "to turn inside out"). This is a link to part I, there is also a Part II availabe to watch on You Tube.  While at Alfred University this past summer John Gill showed us this video. 

We post our: Clay Share - Tuesday,
Potters Pick - Thursday,
Playing off the Instrument - Sunday