Earthquake/tsunami and Frith workshop

First, I would like to say how devastating the earthquake and tsunami is for Japan. I was at that moment home in California and am now in Chicago with my youngest son, Arjan. This was all already planned of course. But Adriaan was in our house in Kamakura and felt the biggest shock ever. He ran outside. The first thing I said and what he did when he could enter the house again, was checking the risk for a tsunami. Luckily, the chance was small this time for Kamakura. So, he is fine. But in Sendai the tsunami happened an half hour after the historical big quake. Terrible! My heart and prayers goes out to all the people enveloped by this tragedy.

I was not able to write about this exciting workshop, because a lot happened last week with the preparation for my “Sakura” exhibition at the end of this month and my 2-week trip to the US.

On March the 4th and 5th I attended a Master Class Ceramics Workshop given by David and Margaret Frith at the International School of the Sacred School in Steve Tootell’s ceramics room and organized by Steve Tootell and the JapanASCD (Assoc. of Supervision and Curriculum Development).

David and Margaret are potters in stoneware and porcelain. They set up their first workshop in 1963. Their reputations are well established. David with his mastery of the potter’s wheel makes majestic pieces decorated with his personal style of waxed motifs under heavy reduction over- glazes and glaze trailing. Margaret concentrates on individual porcelain with carved decoration or colored glazes as well as producing a comprehensive range of domestic ware and decorative stoneware. Their pottery is housed in an 18th. century woollen mill which was later used as a brewery hence the name The Malt House. The mill is situated on the banks of the river Ystrad, on the outskirts of the market town of Denbigh, in the beautiful Vale of Clwyd in North Wales, UK. Their website is:

They taught us all kinds of throwing techniques and personalized it for each attendee. They showed us their way of throwing and trimming pots and the next day talked about decoration. For me some things were very familiar and I learned some different techniques especially for throwing big pots. They have 48 years of experience in making pots! I will add some YOU TUBE videos I took at the end of this blog, but next time it will be one movie. I have to learn to edit movies and put them together as one.

Steve introducing Margaret and David.

Margaret throwing.

David pulling up the clay for throwing a big platter.

David throwing a big vase in two parts. The base he threw the day before and the top he threw first separately and then turned it around and put it on the base. He is finishes it directly.


1. David and Margaret both throwing a plate:

2. David pulling up clay:

3. David throwing a big vase:

4. Margaret explaining decoration:

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