The surrounding park around Sara Yama is finally starting to change colors. Here is a ginkgo tree near the public restrooms. The picture doesn't do it justice but the tree is a magnificent yellow green color! I'm sure by next weekend it'll be glowing yellow. Kyushu doesn't have as spectacular color change as northern Japan does but there are patches of red and yellow on the mostly green mountain sides :)
I spent most of my Saturday afternoon catching up on work at the studio since I am still behind from summer vacation.
Anyways! Here's what's been going on lately :)
It is already the middle of November and that means the next noborigama is only a month away! So it is time to start thinking about what I want to put in this time around. Last September I did not plan well and wished I had more pieces to put in, but I think this time I'll have too many to count! Adding to a large vase (remember this thing! I almost forgot about it) and my recent teapot. Now I also have 6 mixed clay plates to add. They are about 4mm thick and about a hands width wide. (Of course they will shrink slightly after firing) I mixed bizen, black stone, red stone and possibly a tad of white shigaraki. These were just free form made plates, and are currently drying/ waiting for bisque firing.
The key to getting a nice swirl like this is mixing the clays while they're very soft, and not kneading too much. The more you knead, the more the clay will blend together and the less each color will stand out.
I'm sure these will turn out great in the noborigama. The mix of clays will for sure make a great color. I haven't decided if I'll give some a slight glaze or not, since nobori pieces look best without glaze since the wood brings out great color. Nobori pieces also don't need a glaze to be used with food. The high temp and long firing time makes the clay strong enough to be used as a normal glazed plate.
Next a drink set I made awhile back has been bisque fired.
Bizen clay, with a swirl design of L on the side (top rust colored tea cup sample) and a top color of I.(bottom whitish tea cup sample) These will be RF fired. Can't wait to see how they turn out!
I also got around to my night lamp. I spray glazed it with M, OF firing.
This is glaze M in the daylight. Great darker brown with yellow undertones. I sprayed it since it needed a very thin layer of glaze. Dipping this piece would clog the holes where the light should come out of. Should turn out well with this light glaze. Hopefully I can find a tiny light bulb and cord to fit with it.
I also finished some coffee cups I made last Thursday night. I shaved and attached handles to them today. These are another mix clay batch, but are mostly red stone clay.
I have many mixed pieces since I am trying to use up all my leftover clay. And actually the mixed clay pieces usually turn out much cooler than the one clay pieces. Arai Sensei actually has his own mix of clay he uses.
Last piece of the day. A huge black stone clay coffee/soup cup. The handle was still too squishy to apply so I'll do that next week Tuesday.
Until next time! From Sara Yama :)