Sent M off today. It’s amazing how well we got along and looking back… she really spurred me on to work as hard as possible making use of the precious time we had in the studio. We’d joke about how we were ‘bad influences’ on each other because not only would we end up driving each other to work late into the night in the studio, we’d also be inspired by the shapes that we were each making and would want to try them out. While she was always making more structural, angular and petite pieces, I’d always end up making larger, rounded, curvier type shapes. Whenever I saw a great triangular shaped bowl of hers I’d always think to try that shape out the next time, but somehow or other ended up always falling back to my own aesthetic preferences. She mentioned feeling the same as well. Undoubtedly though, our works influenced each other, because by the end of our time at Kasen I was definitely trying to make smaller, more petite pieces while she proudly proclaimed she’d made her ‘biggest’ pieces yet (still tinier compared to my monstrosities ^^;). I remember how before she arrived, I’d be like the others, knocking off pretty promptly after 5pm, not really working late into the night at all because it felt nice to just chill after a hard day’s work. Seeing her always work late in the studio though reminded me that indeed, we really did have a limited time at Kasen and working a few extra hours each night could really contribute to improving our skills drastically.
Grateful for all these friends I’ve made, and things I’ve learnt from them.
Sensei treated us to lunch at the famous soba restaurant in town. After which, he dropped us off at the station and I saw her off. It was funny, feeling a pang in my heart after hugging and waving goodbye to her. Feeling that my time at Kasen would soon be up as well. It was definitely a heavy feeling.
After that, I went off to the glaze shop to get some raw materials to ship back to Berlin because I had these grand plans of trying out lots of my own Kohiki. Under the beating hot sun, it was a pretty hard trek. Got to the glaze shop and unfortunately, the usual owner wasn’t there. I’d sort of been relying on him to give me some simple recipes for Kohiki and to tell me the differences between some of the raw materials since he’d always shared so much information with us whenever we went to get glaze/underglaze materials. The kindly elderly owner was there though, but though he was friendly also very informative as well, I think he was probably a little hard of hearing and couldn’t quite get it when I tried saying my Japanese wasn’t that good so he couldn’t quite moderate the difficulty level of his explanations. In the end, I might have overdone it, but I ended up buying a couple of 3 kg bags of raw materials, only to realize how incredibly heavy those bags were after slinging them over my shoulders. Good thing
I’d built up some degree of musculature in my upper arms after a month plus of wedging and throwing. The walk to the station was definitely a rough one.
The rest of it went by in a sort of sweaty blur because I was then in a great rush to mail things off before the post office closed. The minute I got back to the studio, I packed up the glaze materials in a box, packed some items as gifts to mail to my friend in Osaka etc… then rushed out to make it before closing time. The cardboard box of my roughly 13kg of glaze raw materials was so incredibly heavy, I remember distinctly wanting nothing more than to reach the post office ASAP.
It’s always moments like these that make me feel like I should be in a movie. I reached the pedestrian crossing which showed a red light. Didn’t see any vehicles + the box of raw materials was so damned heavy, I made the decision in that split second to dash across the red light. The minute I stepped out, I could see a large van in the distance headed my way. I panicked slightly, hurried my footsteps along, when suddenly, the small box on top of my cardboard box of raw materials tumbles forward onto the ground. Cursing and swearing with sweat down my forehead, I hurriedly pick up the smaller box all the while with the van looming my way and the shaming red of the pedestrian light glowing, as if to say, HAH. You got what you asked for.
Thankfully, made it to the other side of the street in one piece. One of the items I’d planned to send to my friend though, had broken quite spectacularly into a couple of pieces. Perfect for Kintsugi in my opinion, but it was a beautiful piece none the less that I would have been proud to have gifted her.
After that incident, I really did think back to that moment. And how things DO make sense in this world sometimes. I rushed, didn’t plan things out well, made a hasty decision… and it’s almost as if there was a higher power of sorts who’d woken up from a nap and decided that very moment to teach me a lesson. Well, it was a great one that I’ll never forget.
Wrote in my journal that night:
“Worked on trimming futaoki. Learnt a trick on making futaoki from Sensei. Method of cutting it off the base.
Went to soba restaurant.
A little sad to see M off
Parting is such sweet sorrow after all
Went to glaze shop
Went to post office
Dropped and broke plate sob
Always a lesson to be learnt
So apt, that bit of rushing leading to an unfortunate outcome
Zen as always”