I started the project just over 3 years ago.
First of all, my progress of kiln-building project was hugely hindered because the wood was in a terrible mess when I first went in. The woods were left like a mad man with a chainsaw chopped down trees for his insane pleasure. That was my first impression of the woods. Somehow it reminded me an American horror film ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)’ by Tobe Hooper. It was very difficult to walk in the woods and I have been tripped by the thin branches lying around and almost got poked my eyes by low branches many times. And I thought it would take at least several years to clear all the mess.
Along with clearing those unhealthy woods, my plan was simple and clear that I would collect wood, build Anagama and do wood-firings.
My kiln-site was located in the middle of The woods. I decided to collect wood for my first wood-firing using a few hand tools (without using a noisy chainsaw and protective gears) so I could work quietly with my own pace.
Secondly I felt that I had to do something for the potters in Tohoku. It was the mega earthquake hit Tohoku regions on the 11th of March 2011 and Tunami and aftershocks have damaged and destroyed many potters kilns. I know most of Japanese people have been prepared for typhoons and earthquakes well but the Great Eastern Earthquake was the biggest I have ever known. Nancy Fuller phoned me and said she would like to help potters in Tohoku and I agreed the idea of Tohoku potters aid-projects. It has been just over 2 years and a few months. We started our ‘Kamamataki-Aid’ project and we believe there must be someone who really need our help. I would like to help them first to keep Japanese pottery alive.
I knew it would take many years to see our efforts and also take my up time from my own pottery. I am still O.K. My own Anagama project has been slow anyway. (Gas)