Went out in the afternoon to explore Seto with K who was still on her mission to look for ceramic shards. Initially I didn’t think I’d go but M-san had recommended a particular site which used to house a huge climbing kiln, long since out of use. It looked like a bit of a walk from the main street in Seto but seeing that, I figured since it was something I would definitely not explore by myself…I had to go with K. 😉 An opportunity not to be missed.
In the end while I did feel a slight tinge of guilt for not having spent the afternoon practising throwing/trimming and seeing Sensei’s throwing, it was totally worth spending the time with her walking into town and exploring together. She’s a true intrepid explorer and always seems to have boundless energy though she’s a good 5 or 6 years older than me. After Japan she would be off to Cambodia…Vietnam…or some other parts of Asia and would only be going back to Scotland perhaps at the end of the year.
Some people you meet and just get along instantly. I was lucky to have had that sort of connection with K. We talked about all sorts of stuff. Exchanged weird and wondrous travel stories. And talked about the creative process because she used to work for an advertising agency and would mentor young artists looking to start up their career. So much of the time we wonder if what we’re doing is worth it or not. But I remember her saying that we have to remind ourselves that in the end we take nothing with us when we leave this world anyway. What happens to us in the process is all that counts. It’s this emphasis on the process over the outcome that is something that’s taken me a long time to really grasp and appreciate. But it makes life so much richer that way.
We ended up having an interesting time down in town after she had collected enough of her shards. Went into a tea equipment shop, oogled a bit at crazy expensive items, and I ended up being mistaken for her translator perhaps because when I asked the elderly shop owner for a name card to remember the shop incase I wanted to come back, she walked straight to K and passed her the card instead, perhaps thinking she was an extremely wealthy foreigner who would be back to purchase more tea equipment at the next visit. We laughed so much over that. Another shop we went into was the strangest one. Filled to the brim with porcelain figurines, ranging from innocent looking ones to pure horror movie type freaky clowns and dolls. Plus a cage filled with naked barbie dolls hanging from the ceiling. Luckily there was another customer there chatting with the owner because he seemed like he wanted to talk to us a little more after finding out we were learning ceramics at Kasen studio. We were able to make our escape just in time before he could lure us to the back of the shop to suffer a fate like those barbie dolls… 😉 (We bonded over our over active imagination as well I think.)
As much as my aim of being at the studio was to practise and level up my skills, it’s memories like these that make the experience beautiful.
At night I wrote in my journal:
“Probably still will focus on all sorts of cup forms for this week.
Then next week will start on bowls. Which require tons and tons of practice
anyway. For all different shapes and sizes ”