This morning, I walked over the beach to our neighborhood temple, the Komyoji temple. This temple was build in 1240 and transferred to the present location in 1243 and renamed Komyoji. The temple was sponsered by the fourth generation regency of Hojo Tsunetoki, who was Shikken, or an assistant to the Shogun. He held the real power in the Kamakura government. After his death the temple continued to enjoy the patronage of the Hojo Family who inherited power as Shikken. The temple was first place in school education, where Jodo Buddhist priests trained during the Edo era. The temple still belongs to the Jodo Buddhist sect.
There is always this serene quietness. The inside of the temple is beautiful. The temple is surrounded by two beautiful gardens. Kishu Teien with a lotus pond and Sanson Goso Raigo in the Karesansui (a dry landscape garden) style. The “Nelumbo” lotus water lilies in the pond had all withered away and the big pod seeds are all changing into this dark brown dry color. The big leaves are turning brown. Autumn is on its way.
But 3 weeks ago before I left for Mashiko, the pond looked like this: the walkway to the pond.
At the pond.
A golden coy fish in the pond. (Also, look on my blog of May 24).
The water lilies.
I just received some pictures from Steve Tootell of the finished kilns. Look at the steel frame work around the kilns and chimneys for support during the heat expansion of a firing.
This will be my last post about the building of the wood fire kilns: Euan Craig’s Anagama and Masakazu Kusakabe-san’s Dancing Smokeless Wood kiln. I will return home to Kamakura and then to the Netherlands. and return in October for Steve Tootell’s “Fantastic Fire” workshop with these kilns.
Look on Euan’s blogspot site all of the building of the kilns:
In the morning they went through the roof! The chimney will be 6 meter high.
The chimney of Euan’s kiln also becomes higher and higher! His will be 4 meter high.
Yesterday, my exhibition finished and I am returning to Kamakura. It seems like I haven’t been there in ages, but it has been just two weeks or already two weeks. The time flew by and so many things happened. It was all wonderful and is difficult to express it all in words.
But thank you so much to every one who helped me in any way to make this happen.
The building of the kilns progresses incredibly fast.
The walls are finished and the arch will rest on it.
Here the inner layer of insulating fire brick is being laid.
The arch is being build.
In a very precise manner with different sizes.
Still only one row left and working in the dark.
Kusakabe-san puts in the last brick.
Hammering it all the way in.
In the end pasting everything with a layer of mortar.
Done with the arch! And I feel good!!
This morning, before going to the Toko gallery, I rode my bike through the countryside to go to the post office to mail a birthday card to my oldest son, who will turn 24 years old.
Mashiko is a country town and you quickly find little roads to bike through the rice patties. It is harvesting time. The typhoon flattened the rice, but the machines pick the stalks up and cut it, which are put like little tents or put on racks to dry.
Some flowers along the road.
The color orange is so beautiful.
A bonsai shop.
A junk/antique store.
They worked hard today and even started to build the arch of Kusakabe-san’s kiln.
In the afternoon, the damper was in the chimney and the walls were already well above the grates of the fire box.
They had put a tarp over it in the evening and I couldn’t see the kiln, but you can see quite a difference in hight from this morning and now.
Getting higher and higher with the walls.
In the afternoon, they had progressed so much that they were able to put on the constructed wooden arch. On this they will built the stone arch.
It was completely dark when I came back. They had started already with the arch. Look how high the chimney is already.
Secondly, I feel lucky to be here, because Kusakabe-san and Euan Craig are building their kilns at the moment at Furuki-san’s clay center. I will fire those kilns with Steve Tootell’s workshop in the end of October. So, they have the Mashiko Building Kiln workshop at the moment with a group of Japanese and some international potters.
Please, also visit Euan’s blogspot, because he is giving the workshop: http://www.euancraig.blogspot.com/
Every day I’m at my exhibition, but when I can I try to watch.
Yesterday, they had leveled the foundations. And today, they started building.
Kusaka-be san explains.
Euan cuts bricks for adjustments.
Starting to build.
When I returned in the afternoon they had build already little walls. Dipping the brick in mortar.
Kusakabe-san placing a big cover brick.
When I returned it was dark and saw that they were already at the level of the grates in the firebox.
The grates of Kusakabe-san’s kiln.
It is wonderful to be in Mashiko.
First, of course of my own exhibition. I meet a lot of interesting people and they are all very serious and respectful about my work. They examine my pieces thoroughly as if they want to connect to the piece, get a feeling for the piece. The language is still sometimes a problem, but I manage and learn new words every day and have my statement and biography sheet ready.
Also, the owner and his staff are wonderful and helping me in any way they can: Tomiko-san, Yumiko Tsukamoto-san, Sachiko-san.
Some friends who visited:
Steve Tootell Euan Craig Masakazu Kusakabe-san
Hideo and Shizuko
I would like to thank my friends who helped wonderfully with the show, the reception and the party. It would have been nothing without them: Stuart, Olivia and the Tamura family.
Stuart, who took me to Costco the day before and who drove us up from Kamakura to Mashiko. Luckily, the typhoon who had hit Kamakura during the night, was moving north and the highways had opened, but there was still some heavy raining fall and gusty winds. His daughter Olivia helped me with the show setup.
Lenna-san with her mother Kikue-san and sisters and father got the fresh food from the store and prepared the reception and party. Incredible, nothing for me to worry about.
And of course, my husband, Adriaan, who helped and advised and is the biggest supporter as are my three boys. Thank you.
Tamura Family and Olivia