Kuge Crafts

So many tiny fruit harvested in Tokyo backyard

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ゆすらうめー3分の1 収穫しました。

These two bowls are just one third of the yusura plum’s harvest. It’s a small tree behind Kuge Crafts, and it produces a lot. Thanks to Yoshiko Kuge for the photo and explanation about her jam-making.

Shibaura House’s Kanto Tour Guide makes a stop at my favorite tonkatsu restaurant

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Shibaura Houseの依頼で、Kanto Tour Guideの杉並ツアーを書きました。先週、そのツアーを実際に一緒に歩いてみました。最初にとんきという一番好きなトンカツ屋で昼食を食べました。Kanto Tour Guideについては、こちらへどうぞ

Shibaura House asked 10 foreigners living in Kanto to design half day and one day tours, primarily for Japanese to re-discover their country with a new perspective. I wrote a short guide for Suginami, starting with my favorite Higashi Koenji tonkatsu restaurant named Tonki. Shibaura House even made a small tour group flag. I think the chef was surprised by our visit. Afterwards, we visited Amp Coffee, cookie shop Steka & Mojl, Kuge Crafts (手仕事屋久家), and the Suginami Childrens’ Traffic Park near Zenpukuji river.

There’s some great photos on Shibaura House’s Facebook page. Also here. More information about all 10 tours on their website.

Have you seen a new year decoration on a car or bike?

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車か自転車につけられたしめ飾りを見たことがありますか。これは、手仕事屋久家で作ったぼくの手作りです。新宿で。

I made this one at Kuge Crafts.

“Twins.” My relocated balcony morning glory is blooming at my in-laws’ garden

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このきれいな携帯の写真をもらいました。パートナーのお母さんから、題名は英語の「双子」です。天気が寒くなったのに、アサガオはまだ咲いているので、驚いています。手仕事屋久家の裏庭で。

I received this lovely cellphone photo from Shu’s mom, with the title, “Twins!” With the weather getting cold, I am surprised the morning glory is still flowering. At Kuge Crafts‘ rear garden.

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.

Air plants in small containers sit on widow box

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窓際においたベンチの上の小さな植木鉢の中で、エアプラントが元気そうです。右は、手仕事屋久家でぼくが作った盆栽の植木鉢です。左は、衆生の猫の絵です。

Easy to move around, the tiny scale of air plants are a perfect fit for a Tokyo apartment. I made the bonsai pots on the right at Kuge Crafts. The cat drawing on the left is by Shu.

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A small vase brings color inside

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小さな花瓶が家のなかを素敵に見せてくれます。備前の花瓶は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

I made this “bizen”, wood-fired vase at Kuge Crafts. The deep blue flower is called rindo (リンドウ) in Japanese.

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.

Is kanamemochi Tokyo’s best hedge?

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普通の植物が好きで、いつも近所の庭に注目しています。東京で簡単に育つカナメモチという木は一番好きな垣根です。春に赤色の若葉が出て、きれいです。植木鉢でも地面でも、速く大きくなります。僕のベランダに一つあって、手仕事屋久家の庭にもあります。

Unlike real horticulturalists, I enjoy planting common plants that I’ve seen in my neighbors’ gardens. This year I am convinced that Kanamemochi (Photina) is Tokyo’s best hedge. In spring the new leaves are a beautiful deep red color. Whether in a pot or in the ground, this member of the rose family, related to apple trees, grows quickly, thickly, and can be shaped easily. I have one hiding my washing machine and providing evergreen privacy between my kitchen and the neighbors outside my window. I also planted one at Kuge Crafts in order to provide separation from a pesky neighbor. Very quickly, that single plant is growing wide and creating a living fence.

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Kuge Crafts (Teshigotoya Kuge) launches new website

teshigotoya-kuge_new_website 旦那の両親が教室を再開しました。手仕事屋久家で、絵画や楽焼や金継ぎを教えます。企画支援もあります。様々な年齢や国籍の人が集まります。私は教室で、最近エアプラントの植木鉢を作りました。杉並区の新高円寺の近くです。お気軽に見学にいらしてください! My in-laws have relaunched their art studio as Kuge Crafts, or Teshigotoya Kuge. They are still teaching pottery and also now kintsugi (a form of decorative repair for ceramics), drawing, and jewelry making. The studio is near Shin Koenji, in Suginami ward. The teachers welcome students from all countries and of all ages. One thing the website doesn’t mention is that delicious cake and coffee are also served at every class! If you’re interested, please call or drop by! Thanks to graphic designer and former student Jessica Mantell and front-end developer Kai Bansner, we made a new website for the studio that is formatted for smart phones, PCs, and tablets.

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.