Along with me, there is one other person from the Explore Japanese Ceramics program, Beatriz, she is from London and is very friendly. It is her second time here which says a lot about our pottery master! Sensei also has an apprentice, Megumi. She doesn't speak much English, but I don't speak much Japanese, I think we will learn a lot from each other. After taking a walk in the afternoon I was walking around the studio getting a little acquainted and saw Sensei and Megumi working on an order of 200 tea cups that were special ordered for a restaurant. I offered to help so Megumi demonstrated the process and I got started. It was nice to see what type of work goes into some of the things that Sensei does and be able to give a helping hand. He was very thankful and happy that I offered and I even learned a couple new Japanese words while working along side them.
After work Sensei did some demos on the wheel for Beatriz and I. He threw off the hump and it was just magical. He can throw a teacup in like 30 seconds, even can throw plates off the hump. He spoke of feeling the clay and knowing but the size in your hand how much you need from the large mound. He mentioned that the tradition of working off the hump is important so that you can throw a lot in one day and work fast. He sometimes throws 300-400 tea cups a day! Mind blowing! I am going to learn so much here! Funny thing is, Sensei was impressed with what I do too. I am but a humble student still and know I have a long way to go until I can be as prolific as him, but still, I was honored to share my work and receive his positive comments. Today I am one day closer to becoming a master potter.