Three Kamakura Red pieces in three Chinese Musea

– Yixing Ceramic Museum:
Today, I received the news from Guangzhen “Po” Zhou, that my Kamakura Red Teapot is received by the Yixing Ceramics Museum and permanently accepted in their special exhibition hall for international teapots! This is wonderful. Unfortunately, I could not be there. But I saw the museum last April. The Yixing Ceramic Museum  is the first one established in China and has an abundant collection of exhibits. See my blog of May 5, 2010.

– The Shanghai “Pot” Museum:
Another Kamakura Red Teapot was exhibited during the Shanghai exhibition, last April and will be in the permanent collection of the Shanghai “Pot Musuem”. See my blog of May 5, 2010.

–  The Jingdezhen Ceramic Museum:
Last year, “Po” Zhou brought my Kamakura Red “Peony” Vase to Jingdezhen for the 2009 International Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition. Afterward, the vase was accepted in the permanent collection of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Museum. Jingdezhen is known as the “Porcelain Capital”, because it has been producing quality porcelain pottery for 1700 years. See my blog of November 28, 2009.

It all started when Guangzhen “Po” Zhou chose my “Kamakura Red Teapot” for the “International Contemporary Teapot Exhibition with the title: “Beyond the function” in conjunction with the NCECA conference in April 2009. See my blog of January 14, 2009.

Then he made a poster of “100 Contemporary Teapots of West” selected from 6 exhibitions and my teapot is one of them. See my blog of April 13, 2009.

After that in July 2009, “Po” Zhou brought my “Peony Vase” to Jingdezhen and also my teapot to Yixing.
Thank you so much, “Po” Zhou!

Please, look on his website and read all about the trip he organized in China and all his accomplishments and beautiful artwork: www.chineseclayart.com

Accidents happen


I made some Kamakura Red big vases for an order.



It was a challenge, because to throw the vase in one time with the clay I use is very difficult. So, it threw it in two and three parts and then when the clay was firmed up, you put the parts together.






After that, I continued shaping the form. And then I made my alterations when the clay was still soft leather hard.



I trimmed the foot after having it dried to a hard leather hard stage. It was possible to dry the vases in the open air (with no draft), because the temperature in Japan at the moment is hot and humid. So, it dries slowly.




After a slow bisque firing, I sprayed the glaze on the pot and then glaze-fired to cone 06 (1770 F/995 C).



I put the pot on stilts with metal points. I don’t have other ones. All-ceramic stilts, including the “points,” are preferable to metal-point stilts for heavier forms, because the ceramic “points” will not bend under extra weight. And so, this is exactly what happened. The points bent and the bigger vase didn’t fall against the wall, but against the other big vase! So, both were stuck together!! This was very, very unfortunate, because the color was exactly right.
I put them back into the kiln in a way so the big vase could fall back on the stilt when the glaze was melted enough. This was at 1500 F. The big one cracked “pang” when I opened the kiln, because of the thermal shock effect. The cold air going over the bigger vase was too much when I steadied it.

I had them cool down, but then I got my old problem with this glaze: the formation of craters. Sometimes they may be used to achieve textural emphasis on ware. Such glazes are usually produced by glaze compositi ons which liberate a gas during firing. As the gas bubbles reach the surface of the glaze, they may either break through to leave craters in the surface coating, or they may be trapped in the form of blisters. I don’t want those craters. I want a smooth red surface and for me it is a defect. A horizontal form, like a plate, is correctable, but a vertical shape is almost impossible, because the glaze flows down. The second time the craters were less and I tried a third time, but by now the red color had almost burnt out and disappeared and I had more craters!
A real bummer. It was an expensive lesson to learn by not using the right stilts.