Skip to main content

Claire: The Destroyer

Today was our second day of making pottery after classes. We arrived at the studio and collected the in-progress chawan that we had begun last week. We were then given a demonstration on how to shape the bottom of the bowl. Essentially you turned the bowl over, used a knife to sketch a circle on the bottom (the diameter of which would become the base of the bowl) and then physically cut away, at an angle, clay from the sides of your chawan. You used a wire pulled taut between a curved piece of metal...kind of like a bow? Then you attached a thing rope of clay around your circle to form the raised base. I ended up with something like this:

You can see how the angle of the bowl changes and there's a raised base.


Some of you observant readers might notice the shape of the bowl above. You might notice how it seems like the top edge is wavy and the bowl itself is not quite symmetrical, which is a must for Claire art. You might be suspecting that this bowl's shape is quite different from the one I showed you in the last pottery entry. Observant reader, you would be quite correct. This is, in fact, a completely new bowl. How can this be, you might wonder. Well. I, in my infinite brilliance, when attempting to scrape away the sides of my bowl, ended up completely shredding it. Like a curled piece of orange peel that you garnish fancy cocktails with. Completely and utterly beyond repair. I was a little too eager and overconfident, and went for it all at once like the professional instead of mincing along. So. I hurriedly fashioned a new bowl, dried the bejeezes out of it with a blow-dryer, and had the teacher help me with the bottom. In no way is this up to my standards of quality, but perhaps it will turn out all right in the end.

The, ah, large curved-ish chunk of clay there is part of the remains of my first bowl...

Anyways! To brighter topics: tomorrow and this weekend will be full of exciting things, so be sure to check back!


Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.

The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Feeling a Bit Blue

It astounds me that it's already the end of August. Time has seemed to pass in a bit of a blur: one hot, sticky mess of 100-degree days and only mildly more bearable evenings. I was also fortunate to visit the U.S. for a week (not Chicago I'm afraid, but Wheeling, West Virginia and then San Francisco) for a family reunion. It was lovely to see all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who I hadn't seen in person for several months, if not years. But given the short visit I essentially spent two weeks with my body clock completely confused about what time zone it was supposed to be in.  However, I'm now I'm back in Japan for the near future and have essentially settled back in to my usual rhythm of life. 
This past weekend I decided to engage with my arts-and-crafts side. The summer of 2009, when I first visited Japan, I was lucky enough to try my hand at aizome (indigo dying) in Kyoto. Recently I had a hankering to try it again, and e-stumbled upon a shop in Asakusa call…