Cherry Blossoms in Kamakura

It is great to back in Japan. The temperature is really nice: in the night it cools off and you still sleep under your down cover. Last night we had a thunder storm and today, it is beautiful and sunny again. I rode my bicycle around town with all the beautiful cherry “SAKURA” blossom trees, especially in the main street: the Dankatsura Street. You walk underneath the trees and the petals falling down on you bless you.

4) Dankatsura Torii_4
The “Torii” of the Dankatsura street, going all the way to the Hachimango Shrine.

2)Dankatsura cherry trees_2
Dankatsura by night,72_1
Dankatsura by night!
3)Kersenbloesem tak_3

Spring in Los Altos Hills

Spring in the hills where I live in the US is beautiful. Everything turns greens because of the rain, which is plentiful in this season. In summer it will all turn yellow where there are no sprinkler systems.

Enjoy the following pictures:
Around Edgerton 004
Around Edgerton_9Around Edgerton_7
Around Edgerton_10
Around Edgerton_8
Around Edgerton_5

I feel very fortunate to be able to live at this wonderful place on this big, great globe.

NOLA Fired Up 4

The Saturday and Sunday, March 1+2, of the NOLA Fired Up Conference were filled with demonstrations, gallery viewing in downtown New Orleans, slide shows, discussions and of course eating the good food and enjoying the wonderful music of the Saturday night dance.

Margaret Bohls's demonstration_1
Margaret Bohls’s demonstration and teapot.
Margaret's teapot_1

Joe Bova's demonstration_1
Joe Bova’s demonstration and snake.
Joe Bova snake_1

Cynthia Bringle's demonstration_1
Cynthia Bringle’s demonstration and face jug, in collaboration with Joe Bova.
Joe Cynthia Vase_1

Mapo Kinnord-Payton_1
Mapo Kinnord-Payton making a sculpture.

NOLA Fired Up 3

The Fire on the Mississippi banks of New Orleans, Louisiana, NOLA Fired-Up!
It was a great success! Beautiful sculptural kilns and great fires all around!

Program,Mississippi river_1b

Program_1a

Filling up kiln_1

Filling up the paper clay “VASE KILN”.

closing of the kiln_1
Closing of the kiln.

Starting the fire_1
Starting the fire.

Kiln firing_2
Fire from within_1
Fire from within.

NOLA Fired Up 2

Next day, I put the clay slurry with magazine paper on the in- and outside of the kiln. Thicker paper and with colors (the chemicals in the ink) on it make it more refractory.
5) VK,Halfway with slurry,72_1

Around 3pm a group of high school kids from an NOCCA art center came to have a look and they helped me finishing the neck of the kiln and still put a layer all over with lots of enthusiasm.
Then I cut some wire again for making kind of shelves to put different layers of pots.
6) VK,Highsch.kids finishneck of vase,72_1
7) VK,1st part of slurry done,72_1
A quarter side of the kiln was still open, because I had to fill it the next day.

On the other side of the field, Fred Olsen and Richard White’s kiln was becoming very impressive. They would start the firing already that night, very slowly.
IMG_0013
IMG_0038

NOLA Fired Up 1

On Wednesday, February 27, I arrived in New Orleans to participate in the NOLA Fired-Up Conference.
Program_2

I arrived at midnight. It is an easy city to drive in, so, I found my hotel alright in the French Quarter. It is an old city and where I’m building the kiln, the devastation of the Katrina hurricane is still everywhere. But it has a nice atmosphere with those old plantation kind of houses, small and big, with beautiful decorations.
NO House_1
NO House_2

I started building my alternative paper-clay Vase kiln. Wali Hawes taught me this technique at the Fantastic Fire Workshop in Mashiko, last October ’07.  http://www.walihawes.com/
I designed the shape of the “Vase Kiln”.

The NOLA Fired Up organization with Chris Brumfield and Bonita Day and Caroline Smith and many more volunteers did an incredible job with this conference and with helping me in getting all the materials for being able to build this kiln. Thank you so much. From rebar a friend welded the frame of this kiln. I put chicken wire on and built the brick base. Inside will go a wire horizontal tube, which I will fill with charcoal.
2) VK,Chicken wire finished,72_1

Meanwhile, Fred Olsen and Richard White had already started building their sculptural kiln.
Olsen kiln_1