getting ready to fire up the alpine. i have an evaluation at the end of next week. lots of experiments in here, colored clays, feldspar inclusions and tessellating tiles. yay.
the last week has been kind of bananas. last friday i had pretty much run out of clay and took the opportunity to go to the clay store and get more, thinking i had another week of building ahead. that afternoon we had the monthly kiln meeting and i realized i had more like 3 days left. yikes!
i have amassed a pretty good collection of wall pieces for the installation i will mount before the end of my stay. i am using a mixture of local clays, both a smooth white and black shigaraki clay and a black clay with the ubiquitous feldspar inclusions. i am also using (sparingly) arita porcelain from kyushu.
i have organized a mini- trade with the other residents. these are my little guys. see that fake grass under them? i found a whole case of 12″ x 12″ squares of it in the dumpster and might try to use it for something….
working here the last couple of weeks has been awesome! i love that all i have to do everyday is just eat, sleep and work. and being able to wake up and walk right to my studio pretty much rules.
i have been able to put everything else out of my mind and i’ve even had time to do some cooking. sometimes the residents get together to cook and eat. i invited everyone to share some nabe one evening and the other night everyone cooked something and shared, kind of like a potlock.
ok, maybe not everything else. i keep having dreams in which my kitties wonder off. it’s so weird. during the day i think “this is so wonderful i hope i can come back and stay longer some day” and at night my brain feels guilty or something. miss those little nerds:(
after the golden temple we went to another famous site, ryoenji, which is a temple and a zen rock garden. i didn’t take any pictures, because i was busy talking with shizuka about art and happiness. i hope to post pics and some discussion with several of the artists working at the togei no mori in this blog so keep an eye out.
anyway, on the way back to the car…wait for it…..
making work, museum and wondering around the grounds. day two felt busy, but i also feel like i got a lot done. one of the other residents commented on how fast i was working and as those who share a studio with me in florida know, that doesn’t happen often!
yesterday i arrived in shigaraki japan where i will do a one month residency at the shigaraki ceramic cultural park.
after taking the shinkensen from tokyo to kyoto, i transferred to a local train and then to two buses. the bus ride was long and curvy, so i wanted to vomit a little but was eventually distracted by the amazing view out the window.
my view had been particularly beautiful for a good deal of my journey but soon after boarding the second bus i was literally awestruck. i am sure that these pictures, taken from my phone, through a rainy window, while the bus barreled upwards and around curves don’t do the scenery justice but my chin was on the floor. this might be the most breathtaking place i’ve ever been.
once i arrived at shigaraki, i was shown my room, introduced to the staff and several residents and taken to the grocery store to get provisions.
i unpacked my stuff, wondered around a little and in the evening there was a little welcome party. one of the women here is from the gunma prefecture and had several types of pork from her family’s farm.
this morning i woke up early and met with the staff to discuss my clay needs.
then we went off to the clay store, where i purchased some black clay, which you can see (ish) in the test tiles above.
everything everyone has said is completely true. it was totally overwhelming choosing clay. i haven’t been to the tool store yet but i’m planning to be blown away.
i’m really into the fact that there are entire stores dedicated to clay.
anyway, finally back to the studio and getting to work:)
friday i checked out the first warphaus show of the semester. galen olmsted’s installation of ceramic components seems to be taking over the gallery, generating out of the floor and toppling anything in the way. i love the wall of storage containers hemming in the uncontrolled ceramic material. they give you a clue as to where everything may have come from and, should someone try, where the bedlam may be contained.
school is in full effect and it was a great first week back. i’m really amped about all my classes. they are all studio courses (ceramics seminar, sculpture seminar and performance and installation a.k.a. intervention).
i had a great meeting with my professor to talk about my research plan for the semester. as mentioned earlier i’m planning to tackle philosophy of aesthetics and beauty. i also plan to explore the idea of wonder and how it relates to art and science. i’m getting really excited to read about what all of these great thinkers believe and eventually be able to articulate my own position.
for my intervention course i’m going to be working collaboratively on several projects, one of which we hope to be able to share with people at nceca…..will keep you posted.
as for sculpture seminar, which is focusing on relational aesthetics, i’m not sure quite what i’ll be tackling. i’m interested in challenging myself to work outside of the ceramic medium and….. i signed up for a february 1st crit so…….i’m going to get cracking!