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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.