With my new film camera, a 10 year old model, I tried out a roll of black and white film. I like how the color is taken away from the deep blue flower and dark green leaves of this morning glory. Instead you can see the form more carefully. I like how you can even see some of the many ants that have inhabited the balcony garden and green curtain.
In my balcony garden, I like juxtaposing plants that evoke different places. Here is a late-blooming pink rose, originally from Asia yet cultivated extensively in Europe, along with fujibakama, one of Japan’s seven fall flowers. Mixing forms, colors, and histories make even the smallest garden fun.
In the aftermath of the tsunami and nuclear crisis, it seems many have retreated into their homes and offices. Now more than ever is the time to go outside, interact with neighbors, and support your local small businesses in Tokyo: restaurants, vegetable shops, artisans, and creative studios.
I started making a series of bonsai pots at the ceramic studio Shiho. Here’s the basic process:
Step 1: Create shapes. Form clay into a block, slice off slabs, place slabs around molds covered in cheese cloth, remove, and let sit to harden.
Step 2 (between 2 days and 2 weeks after creating shapes): Trim the tops and sides. Add holes and channels for drainage. Carve name in bottom.
Step 3: First firing.
Step 4: Add glaze. I will leave each pot partly unglazed to show off the clay.
Step 5: Second firing.
The whole process may take 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the studio’s firing schedule and my free time.
It’s funny that in English, we commonly call several varieties of magnolia by a single name. In Japanese, there are specific names for each one. I love how these pink and white tulip magnolia flowers are blowing in the night sky, with the ubiquitous power lines providing contrast in form and function. Urban beauty is nature mixed with functional services.