It's getting warmer and warmer here in Japan and the sakura trees are in full bloom now! Here is a pic of some of the trees near the studio. The trees go up onto the side of the mountain as well. Almost makes the mountain look like it has patches of snow on it.
Anyways, only a few things this post. Here is a plate waiting for bisque firing I finished up carving the other night. I made 2 other cups along with it but ended up trashing them since they just didn't turn out well. This one is still mediocre but it'll be a good plate to use at home since I don't have many this shape and size.
I did a pretty good job carving it. Since red stone clay is the most rough and grainy it can be really hard to carve. Stones end up getting in the way and this clay wears tools out very quickly. it's best to carve red stone clay soon after making it (within a few days) other wise the clay gets hard and difficult to manage. I didn't get around to this one until a week later and it was pretty hard. It took twice as long to carve and I couldn't take as much off the bottom as I had hoped for fear of cracking it. It's a little heavy but sometimes that's good for plates ;)
This past weekend the local English teachers had a fundraiser for the Tohoku earthquake. I couldn't make it due to an event in Imari (more on that next post) so I donated some of my work to the cause. Just a few plates or cups like the ones pictured there. I was hoping to give some better pieces (maybe coffee/tea cups) but my transferring teachers cleared me out a few weeks before. (These were given away as prizes.)
Last, here are some vases my teacher made. I just wanted to post them so you can see the differences between a beginner and a pro. His vases are amazing and they only take him a few minutes to make on the wheel. These four went into the noborigama that took place this past Saturday. A post about that to follow next week after the pieces come out of the kiln.
Until next time!