Every year I await impatiently for the summer. I always assume that sunny days will help me accomplish all my pottery projects I planned during the winter. However, once summer arrives, I become lazy. Oh well, I'll hopefully be a little more productive in whatever is left of the summer. Here are some pictures of what I have managed to complete.
Tokoname is a city in the Aichi prefecture of central Japan. Being one of the six ancient kilns of Japan, Tokoname is famous for its ceramics. Possibly one of the oldest kilns in Japan, Tokoname produces various types of ceramics. Among these, I find their teapots very interesting. Teapots, or Kyusu in Japanese, are masterfully crafted in Tokoname. Teapots are made with local clay and left unglazed to fire. Mogake technique is employed by some potters in Tokoname. This technique consists on wrapping seaweed around pots to produce red markings during firing.
According to various tea experts, brewing green tea in an unglazed Tokoname teapot improves tea's flavor by reducing bitterness. I love drinking green tea (sencha) and from time to time I do use one of my Tokoname teapots to brew some tea. However, I'm completely satisfied by just staring at these pieces of art. They are so light and excellently made that it is hard to believe that this level of craftsmanship is possible.
All teapots shown above are from Tokoname potters (and from my own collection). I couldn't resist showing off some of mine as well. Here are a couple of teapots I made. They are nowhere near the level of craftsmanship when compared to Tokoname teapots. These are my first attempts at making this style of pots. I wish I could spend sometime in Tokoname to learn from one of their potters.
Glazing during the winter is not very fun. Especially when I don't have running water at the studio. But after all the hard work, I'm super happy with the results. I experimented with new glazes. Some of them turned out very beautiful.
I have a lot of stuff that needs glazing. And to be honest, I find glazing the most difficult and tedious part of pottery. I definitely need to search for other glazes in order to make glazing more exciting. But I think I'll explore new options until Fall. Besides, summer is in full force in Seattle and that makes things a lot easier, plus Willow is helping too.