Much excitement in Mashiko and Salhouse.
By patsouthwood, Apr 10 2015 08:45PM
So. An immense honour to be asked iby my good friend Euan Craig if I would like to put a pot of mine in the first firing of Shoji Hamadas kiln for 40 odd years.
I was to make a Sake bottle that had to be 13cm h and a max of 10cm dia. In a clay suitable to withstand a long firing. With a surface that would work with the atmosphere and any stray bits of flyash that might be passing.
On a personal level I needed that one fairly humble vessel to be a summation of a long term ongoing relationship with both clay and Japan. It is a Country that had facinated me since I first saw Hamadas work at about age 14. In the mid 1970's the concept of me going to Japan one day was about as likely as me being on the next moon shuttle.
Fast forward to 1999 and, just after Graduation, aged 38 and a quarter off I go to Mashiko for a 3 day workshop with Mr Hamadas grandson. Six exhibitions, Two workshops and One residency later I'm constantly striving to return to learn, see and understand more.
After making loads of wannabees the Sake bottle that was to go to Mashiko was decided upon, bisqued and tenderly packed. I don't think I have ever packed a pot so thoroughly. A slightly nerve wracking week later Euan contacted me to confirm it's safe arrival. A couple of weeks later I saw pictures of it's loading into the Noborigama, reports of the firing and then the tense 3 day wait for a cool down. A very sucessful firing by the look of things, with work exhibited in The Hamada Reference Museum. I'm looking forward to catching up with my Sake bottle at some point. it will be a very special piece, however it has turned out.