Wow! Talk about a swift change in the weather! No humidity means pots dry really quick especially when windows and doors are open and wind is moving through the studio. But, it was a beautiful day and a great day for being productive in the studio. I didn't throw on the wheel except to make handles for one teapot (I'll get to that in a little bit)
Instead, I spent my time cutting and reassembling many pieces. It felt really good and I feel like I am starting to play with them again, asking myself "What if?" I am so excited to see where these pieces go and to watch them to continue develop. Remember that building in Nagoya that I liked? Well I tried to make some small pieces inspired by said building.
I also got in the mood of making teapots. I started to combine my love of cutting and reassembling with some of my experiences in Japan. I talked to Sensei about the different types of teapots and if certain styles had specific meaning. Did you know that there are three main styles of totte (handles) for teapots, ushirode-back handle like the western style, yokode-side handled like a knob or a strap, and uwade-top handled typically used on larger teapots. I decided to play a little bit with each idea. I also talked with Megumi about handles, it was slightly entertaining watching ourselves try and communicate our ideas, but it is definitely helping both of us learn the others language. Megumi brought to my attention Dogi ware, which in English is earthenware, but it is the term Japan uses for their primitive pieces. She suggested the Dogi ware style handles for one of my teapots and I took that idea and ran with it. (The image I'm posting isn't the same one she showed, Megumi's image had two handles per pot but I couldn't find it)
Something else interesting, I met Megan today. She comes in and works in the studio with Sensei's help sometimes. I was confused at first to hear another American accent, and couldn't help but think it was a small world. She is from Indiana, but currently lives in Nagoya with her husband working here in Japan for a little while. While here she has been excited to learn Japanese traditions and activities such as potter, traditional tea ceremony, Kimono making, cooking, and she has even been taking lessons to speak Japanese. It was really great to get to talk to her and hear about her adventure in Japan so far.
Earlier in the morning Sensei had a business meeting with some buyers, but he gave them a tour of the studio afterwards. I think that is so great that he wants his buyers to know where the product is coming from and the steps it takes to get there. We had talked about his business for a little bit later in the day and he mentioned that Japan is a great place for potters because they cherish the handmade. The people would much rather have a handmade product than a mass produced item. He said that is how so many potters can survive and have good businesses in such a small area. I hope everyone is having wonderful days back home! It is crazy to think that I have already been in Japan for a week!!! I am still loving every minute of it!