More practice on those straight cups. A couple of things I remember really having trouble with at the beginning was figuring out where the base of my cup was after creating the shape on the hump. I would often lose the marking for the base and end up cutting either way too much clay off along with the base, or feel wrongly and cut through the base.
Cutting the piece of the hump was yet another challenge. Trying to cut such that the base was as level as possible proved harder than expected. But I loved seeing those swirl lines that remained on the top of the hump after cutting the piece off while the wheel was still in motion. It reminded me of what I’d learnt from T-Sensei during tea class. That Cha-ire that came from China last time had swirls on the bottom in the opposite direction because the wheels went counterclockwise in China compared to the clockwise direction in Japan. Simply looking at the base, one would be able to grasp the origins of the Cha-ire.
Sensei brought me and V to the tool store to get some metal strips that we would apparently use to make our own trimming tools. It was funny because when V picked out some tools such as a brush commonly used to brush off slip to create a pattern (Hakeme), Sensei immediately said, no need to buy that. Can easily make it by yourself! Where to get the straw from? Oh in autumn there’s plenty of dried straw that we can collect in the field behind the house. 😉 Sigh. Ughh. Where to get those fields of straw in Berlin or in Singapore I wonder? I love how so much of their traditional tools were made out of natural materials in their surroundings. Made out of necessity but the DIY/pioneer spirit was always a part of their culture.
Met the studio rabbit, Blanc, in the evening. Blanc, because he’s all white. Quite a cute little furball of a rabbit. But not particularly friendly unfortunately. He’d eat the carrots and spinach (I think they all were fresh from Sensei’s mum’s garden, that lucky pampered thing!) but when we reached out to pat him he generally withdrew and scampered off in his cage. Poor thing though since he was all alone. Apparently it had been a gift from Sensei and one of his sons for Sensei’s wife after her dog passed away last year. However, because it wasn’t particularly to her liking it became the studio rabbit instead. 😉 Nothing like playing with it or peeking through the Noren curtains into the living room space behind the studio to feel a sense of comfort just looking at it going about it’s own business. Animals will do that to you.
After 5pm when most of us called it a day, I remember walking to the staircase when I heard the sounds of a flute playing a bossa nova song. Then came the sound of a guitar accompaniment. Initially I wasn’t sure who it was playing those instruments. Enjoyed a few minutes simply standing and admiring the display of tea ceremony ware in the corridor while listening to such calm jazzy strains of music. Eventually I found out it was Sensei and his part time worker S-san practising their duet for an upcoming gig. Such a strange but amazing feeling, being able to hear such relaxing tunes… at home. At what was my home for the next month. I remember thinking… this is the life. 😉
Grateful for this unburdened time to focus solely on improving my skills in ceramics. So very grateful.