ceramic

Summer succulents are colorful, with forms that resemble flower petals

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この多肉植物は花びらみたいです。まんなかのは、手触りが柔らかいです。

WIth enough sunlight, succulents are very easy to grow. They are slow-growing, and look good year-round. I like how some have petal-like forms, others are red, and still others soft to touch. I’ve paired them with hand-made ceramics with geometic patterns.

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Summer Balcony Details: Sunflower sprouts in ceramic pot

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真夏の暑さが終わりましたが、これから夏のベランダのクローズアップの写真のシリーズをお見せします。写真は全部フィルムです。小さいスペースなのに楽しいです。これは種子から育てたヨーロッパのミニヒマワリです。

This is the start of my summer balcony details series. A close look at some of the flowers, foliage and edibles of summer. First, a pot of micro-sunflowers, grown from Hiyoko’s seeds from Europe. The leaves looks so fresh.

Gorgeous mini-pomegranates match home’s Showa-era, crimson ceramic tiles

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ミニ・ザクロが本当に素敵ですね。昨日のヒマワリと同じの庭ですが、家の側で育っています。

I don’t know if you can eat these mini-pomegranates but they are really stunning. This is just on the other side of the wall from the yellow sunflower image I posted yesterday. I love how this gardener maximizes space by extending out into the public realm. The road-side part of her garden also gets more sunshine.

Lovely vine covers street-side window with red and yellow lanterns

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花がいっぱい咲いている蔓植物が路地の前の窓にちょっとしたプライバシーを提供しています。濃い青色の陶器タイルもきれいですね。

I love how this easy to grow vine sends its growth down. The owner has trained it over the street-side window so that it provides additional privacy. There’s also two types of bamboo shades, and three spider plants. I also like how the blue ceramic tile adds a decorative element to what is a very functional architecture typical of post-war Japan.

Red edged grass adds compact color and movement in wind

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小さな植木鉢の草の先は赤くて、風で動きます。今年の夏、大好きな植物の一つです。

In a narrow ceramic flowerpot, this red edged grass provides color and movement with the wind. It’s one of my favorite plants this summer.

Hiyoko’s seeds from Belgium have become seedlings

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ヒヨコさんからもらったベルギーの種が芽を出しました。ミニヒマワリだと思います。これも手仕事屋久家で作った植木鉢です。

I think these are mini-sunflowers. We’ll find out soon. This ceramic also made at Kuge Crafts.

Succulents on top of the air conditioner look good in heat of summer

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夏、エアコンの上はベランダの庭で一番暑いところです。今そこに多肉サボテンを置きました。この陶芸の植木鉢は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

The balcony summer hotspot is the air conditioner, almost always on and blowing hot air. This summer, I’m enjoying succulents which seem fine on top, but probably not in front, of the a/c. They have fun colors, shapes, and even textures. The ceramics were made at Kuge Crafts.

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Marigolds provide spots of color in hand-made ceramics

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スーパで100円で買ったマリーゴールドはきれいな色です。5年前に、手仕事屋久家で、このしっかりとした陶芸の植木鉢を作りました。

These were some of the first ceramic flowerpots I made at my in-laws studio, Kuge Crafts. Here I’ve added some bright yellow and orange marigolds that I picked up at the nearby supermarket for 100 yen each. The ceramic are thick and heavy, which makes them ideal for a sometimes windy location. And the white glaze makes them easy to match with different flowers and herbs.

Persimmon bonsai in two stages: new leaf, and early summer

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この柿の盆栽の世話をするのは簡単です。今年は円形に枝を曲げました。

This persimmon bonsai has been very easy to care for, and this year I’ve pulled two branches down to the base of the trunk, creating a circular shape. Above is how it looks now at the verge of summer. Below, new leaves pushing out in March.

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Two succulents in hand-made ceramic add craft to new window bench

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小さな二つの多肉植物(エケベリアとセダム)が冬のベランダで元気になりました。最近、窓ぎわの新しいベンチの上に置きました。この陶器の植木鉢は4年前に、義理の両親の工房『手仕事屋 久家』で作りました。

This small succulent pair has grown well all winter long on my balcony. I brought it inside for a few days on our window seat. This is one of the first ceramics I made at my in-laws’ crafts studio, Kuge Crafts. I’m working with them now to create a new website for their studio.

Bonsai pots for air plants at Shiho ceramic studio show next week

史火陶芸教室の展示会のために、カラフラな盆栽の植木鉢を作り終わるところです。エアープラントを中に入れる予定です。陶芸の先生も生徒さんも作品を見せて、販売します。西荻窪で、11月23日から27日まで。時間があれば、是非、見にきてください。

Above are some of the colorful bonsai pots for air plants that I am finishing for the Shiho ceramic studio annual show in Nishi-Ogikubo. It takes place just south of the JR station from Friday Nov 23 through Tuesday Nov 27. The teachers Yoshiko and Yoshiichiro Kuge will display and sell their works, as well as ten students and a doll maker.

As you can see in the card below, this year’s theme is spouts. Mine is the only spout full of holes. They provide drainage for after you’ve dunked the air plant in water.

Please come if you’re interested in ceramics! Gallery Hiko, 3-37-21 Shoan, Suginami-ku. Google Map.

Update: Tokyo Weekender featured this show in their events listings!

Dill adds luxury flavor to home-cooked meals

ディルというハーブは贅沢な味がします。4年前に作った植木鉢は東京に来たばかりの頃、史火陶芸教室で勉強して作りました。

This dill has been providing a nice flavor to our food for the past months. It tastes so expensive, and it’s fun to walk a few steps from the kitchen and grab some leaves. This ceramic pot is from the first series I made when I first came to Tokyo four years ago and began studying at Shiho ceramic studio.

Kintsugi pot adds metallic charm to balcony garden

金継ぎという技術はこわれた器を直す方法で。史火陶芸教室の久家先生の専門です。ベランダに、銀色と花が素敵ですね。

This kintsugi pot adds a bright metallic shine to the balcony garden. Here I’ve planted this long-blooming flower. I like the pink-red flowers, which have bloomed for months. Kintsugi, which is the decorative repair of usually old pottery, is a specialty of my teacher at Shiho ceramic studio.

I don’t know the name of this plant, and frankly bought it as “filler.” The husband thinks that “filler” is a harsh name, but don’t most gardens also rely on having a few plants purchased for their immediate appeal with minimal money and thought? Since it’s thrived so long, I should probably learn its name.

Update: The Japanese name is Seroshia (セロシア), and it’s called Celosia argentea, plumed cockscomb, and Prince of Wales Feathers and Flamingo Feathers.

Spout theme at this year’s Shiho ceramic studio show

史火陶芸教室の展示会のためにつくった、私の片口です。西荻窪のギャラリーで、11月22日から27日まで展示会があります。もうすぐ、住所も地図をのせます。

This year, for the Shiho ceramic studio show in Nishi Ogikubo (November 22 to 27), all the students and the teachers made ceramics with spouts. Everyone did something very different.

I am not sure why, but I decided to apply lots of holes, and use them as air plant “bonsai pots.” Air plants are so much easier to grow than moss and almost any other house plant.

If you’re in Tokyo, please come to the show. I’ll post a digital version of the flyer with the address and map soon.