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

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