|In May 2005 I visited Mashiko Japan, and the Hamada family, at the invitation of Brutus Magazine (see Brutus issue - July 2005). While in Mashiko I met, through a mutual friend, Junichi Sekizawa (a 4th generation Mashiko potter) and his father Takeshi and uncle Sakae (both third generation Mashiko potters). The Sekizawa family have been living on the same land for close to 200 years, and have been potting there for about 100.
Their house and studio and surrounding gardens are one of the most beautiful places one could imagine working. While I was there, they invited me to return and work. It took a year for me to organize, but in May 2006 I returned to Mashiko to work at the Sekizawa family kiln site. The Sekizawa’s very generously gave me my own studio to work in. A small building built into the hillside with dirt floors and plants growing inside. The air in the studio was clean and moist, the opposite of my studio in Los Angeles.
I spent 10 days throwing and trimming pots. During June the Sekizawas bisque fired the pots for me, and I went back for two weeks in July to glaze the pots and then fire them in the Sekizawa’s climbing, wood fired kiln (noborigama)
Some of the finished pots stayed in Mashiko for a show in April 2007 at Starnet Gallery, And I brought some back to LA with me.
The following pictures show Mashiko and the process of making the pots there. Throwing, trimming, glazing, loading the kiln, firing the kiln for 3 days, and unloading the kiln.
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