My Wish for New Horse Year [2014] – 平成二十六年(午年)

My new horse year 2014 is starting off rather slow with a bad flu I got in London just before Christmas. I made my flu worse as I worked in the woods trying to finish my latest kiln project. I had to stay home alone during Christmas and New Year. Although my condition was far from perfect (while coping with the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life), I had a plenty of time to think about what I could do when I got better.

I imposed myself on three personal tasks this year.
I should make more tea bowls working with my two kilns (Anagama and Rakugama) in the woods.
Generally I very much enjoy using other potters’ chawan to get inspired. I must have seen several hundred images of tea bowls by modern studio potters on the Facebook last year, but it’s rather unfortunate that I could only find few bowls I would be happy to use. Most of Facebook chawan were uglily over-expressive and unfit to use.
I have just bought a new web domain for my Kintsugi work.
Because I receive some requests of restoring broken vessels from collectors abroad. Kintsugi can be beautiful when it is properly done, it is just another restoration skill but not a creative artwork. Some over-enthusiasts got confused that Kintsugi is art.
I am going to re-design my websites with updated code.
I noticed some of web coding for my website became rather old-fashioned after new technology of Internet and mobile communications have been introduced lately. (in fact they are changing day by day) some of my code are 10 years old now and It‘s an ancient! I need to update some of my web code soon.

Three chawan in the photo gallery [above] are from the hidden treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (U.K.). I found them five years ago among 300 pieces of Japanese pottery collection by Sir Frank William Brangwyn RA RWS RBA (1867–1956).
I handled and examined all 300 pieces in order to sort into the museum database. All three of chawan are my favourites. Yet if I was allowed to choose only one chawan to make tea, I would go for the Bizen. It wasn’t made by a professional potter but a young tea-master called Jousou [1673-1704] (5th Ura-Senke master who died at age of 31). It’s hand-built and curved-out to finish. Totally unique!!! Only tea-master who knew what really wabi cha was made this chawan possible.
There are more masterpieces and treasures to show. I can give an interesting talk about the hidden treasures if I am given a chance for a long lecture. In the mean time, I will post some of them on my blog from time to time. (Gas)

About Gas

Hi, I am a wood-fire potter, living and working in the Japanese tradition in Tring, Hertfordshire (UK). Following mediaeval potter's wisdom, I design and build simple wood-fired kilns called 'anagama' for long period of firing and 'raku-gama' for quick (glazed tea bowl) firing. My anagama firing usually takes 9 - 10 days.
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