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.

Adding holes to the ceramic studio challenge of making something with a spout

今年の史火陶芸教室のテーマは注ぎ口のついたものです。私の作品には、いっぱい穴があります。注ぎ口を使わないから、ちょっと矛盾しています。生徒の展覧会のために、エアプラントを中に置くつもりです。

This year, the Shiho ceramic studio‘s student show in November will feature everyone making a spout. Every student has their own style, but for the annual show we are all making at least one thing in common. This year’s theme is spouts. I decided to make a few with lots and lots of holes. Since spouts are about pouring liquids, I like the contradiction. I’ll pair them with air plants for the show.

Shiho ceramic teachers and students make sake bottle character

180度開脚しているのが一番好きです。史火陶芸教室の先生と生徒さんが「とっくりとっくん」という日本酒のキャラクターの陶芸を作りました。このキャラクターのことをあまり知りませんでしたが、面白いですね。

This sake bottle character is named Tokkuri Tokkun (とっくりとっくん). The Shiho ceramic studio teachers and students each made one. I like Tokkuri Tokkun’s super-flexible limbs, particularly the one doing the splits.

Making new year’s ornaments at Shiho

史火陶芸教室の生徒さんの一人、萩原さんがしめ飾りの作り方を教えました。材料はとても素敵だったと思います。様々なマツ、松ぼっくり、紙垂、稲穂、リボン、縄、ベリー、バラの実、乾燥した葉や花を使いました。お店で買ったしめ飾りよりずっと素敵です。萩原さんはこのブログをいつも読んでくれています。ありがとうございます。

Fellow Shiho ceramic studio student Hagiwara-san organized a new year ornament or shimekazari workshop. It was so fun to work with beautiful, fresh materials, including several types of pine needles, pine cones and woody seed husks, Shinto folded paper, rice, ribbons and ropes, berries and rose hips, even dried chocolate cosmos and other leaves.

In past years I’ve bought them from Muji or even the supermarket. It was fun how all of the hand-made shimekazaris turned out differently. Some had circular and oval bases made of twigs and bamboo, others were tied together in a bunch. I used wires to attach the mini pine cones and even a yuzu.

Hagiwara-san is also a loyal Tokyo Green Space reader. Thank you!

Ceramic flowerpots at Shiho student show

この写真は史火陶芸教室の展示会です。盆栽植木鉢と普通の植木鉢と壁用の花瓶を発表しました。黒粘土と赤粘土の上にかけた白い釉薬が好きです。自然で中間色だからです。来年、もっとエアプラントを入れた小さな植木鉢を作りたいです。

These photos are from the Shiho ceramic show last month. I exhibited bonsai pots, regular pots, and wall vases. I like white glaze on black and red clay because it seems earthy and neutral. Next year I want to make more bonsai pots, and use them with air plants.

Mini apples in flower arrangement

あなたの近所の花屋はミニりんごを売っていますか。楽しいと思っています。東京でよく見ます。この壁の花瓶を史火陶芸教室で作りました。

Does your local florist include mini-apples in their arrangements? It’s very common now in Tokyo, and I think it adds a fun element. This wall vase I made at Shiho ceramic studio.

Potting plants for Shiho student ceramic show

今日は史火陶芸教室の展示会の準備をします。どんな植物がいろいろな植木鉢と似合うだろう。着生植物や季節の花と紫キャベツを使おうと思っています。土曜日から展覧会が始まります。写真は、最後の植木鉢の釉がけ前のです。

Today I am potting up plants and getting my flowerpots ready for the Shiho student ceramic show. Above are the last two larger flower pots. When I go to the studio today, I’ll see how they look after being glazed and baked.

The one with the holes can be used with a candle, or you can place a plant inside that you’ve bought at the nursery in its original plastic pot. I like that it’s lighter weight, transparent, and easy to swap plants in and out.

I am also showing small pots and smaller bonsai pots. I have an idea for untraditional bonsai plantings, including air plants that can be removed so you can see the whole ceramic pot. For the larger pots, I’ll try to mix seasonal flowers, purple leafed cabbage, and some of the plants Matthew left in the back garden.

The show starts this Saturday and runs for five days. I’ll be at the gallery on Saturday from  3ish to 7, on Sunday from 5 to 7, and sometime next week depending on my work schedule.

Purple berries on murasaki shikibu pop on light green foliage

紫式部の果実は薄緑の葉に似合います。この特別な秋の植物は『5倍緑』という都市里山箱のなかで成長します。史火陶芸教室の前を、歩行者が注目しています。季節ごとに、小さい風景ができあがります。史火のホームペジで、この5倍緑箱が二年前にどんなだったかを見られます。

I love how the purple berries pop against the light green foliage. This hardy shrub is a classic fall marker, and a reference to the female novelist of the thousand year old Tale of Genji. Unlike my balcony specimen, which dropped its berries while still green, this one outside Shiho ceramic studio looks fantastic. It’s growing in a 5bai midori, the modular urban satoyama box.

I bought the first box two years ago, and the second last year. They really thrive on this north-facing sidewalk and draw attention to the studio and store. If you click on Shiho’s website, you can see on the home page how small the first one was. It just needs lots of water, and very occasional pruning. There are so many local species that each season has something special and evocative of the Japanese landscape.

Making wall vases at Shiho ceramic studio

史火陶芸教室の生徒展示会のために、壁の花瓶と植木鉢を作っています。この写真は最初の形です。粘土と釉薬は同じだけど、後ろと前を反対にして、斜めと垂直の形を作りました。

In preparation for the November Shiho students’ ceramic show, I am expanding from flowerpots to wall vases. This is what they looked like after I connected the slabs together. Later comes trimming and carving, baking, glazing, and second baking. I am experimenting with reversing front and back, and how to angle the box that holds the water and flowers.

First flower pots finished using 3 colors of clay

史火陶芸教室でこの三種類の粘土を使った植木鉢が出来ました。ちょっと驚きましたが、なかなかいいと思います。何の植物をいれましょうか?11月に生徒展示会があるので、作品を作りに、よく教室に行きます。

I blogged before about these three color flower pots I have been making at Shiho ceramic studio. Now they are finished baking with a glossy transparent glaze showing off the three types of clay. Although the result is not exactly what I had intended, I like how they came out.

I wonder what to plant them with in November for the student show. I am going to the studio twice a week now so that I’ll have enough to show then. Below is another view, using a “nostalgic” filter.

I am lucky that Japanese sometimes think foreigners’ design is unique

史火陶芸教室でもっと植木鉢を作っています。私のいつもの植木鉢は色が一つだけど、今回は違う技術で作りました。様々な粘土を混ぜました。麺棒を使っているところ、私のデザインは太くなってしまいました。でも、ほめてくれました。日本人は、外国人のデザイン感覚は特別だと思っています。だから、得をしました。

I am making more flowerpots at Shiho ceramic studio. Usually I like to make monochromatic flowerpots that don’t distract from the plants. This time I tried a technique that other students have used where they combine several colors of clay. Once I used the rolling pin, what I thought was a thin design became fat. When something this accidental happens, I feel lucky that Japanese sometimes think foreigners have unique design sensibilities.