I made my first tsubo at the start of my year-long training with anagama master Suzuki Shigeji in Shigaraki and from then on I was hooked! Each one presents the challenge of perfecting the form and surface. Just subtle differences in the contours strengthen or weaken the form - adding or detracting interest. I do as much as I can to perfect this and then the kiln plays its part. It dawned on me that having grown up in the West, my eye was trained to symmetry. My master and his friends Shunsai Takahashi and Naokata Ueda, who often came round to drink tea, would comment on how to make the pots more ‘otonashii’ (quiet, gentle) through encouraging softer lines and marks.
I love the way @shannontofts has captured the moody surface of this large kame. I like the dark matt effects I get with this clay body but the firebox pieces are extremely prone to cracking. This time round I’m going to make some adjustments to address this. Fingers crossed I’ll still get the feel I’m looking for.
Shigaraki jar (Yakishime Hirokuchi tsubo)
The TV news this morning said, "The cherry blossoms bloomed", but since Shigaraki is a place with a low temperature, the plum blossom finally bloomed.
I had my work professionally photographed for the first time by @shannontofts at the @scottishpotters annual Spring Weekend at Tulliallan. Apparently, it was the largest ceramic work he’d photographed! The backdrop JUST fitted 😂 Thank you Shannon!