I started working with clay in 1996, when I was in Japan. Makiko and I began pestering this older potter who lived out in the woods. Takayama Ko was at first tolerant and then after we persisted became welcoming. We would show up every weekend and use an extra wheel out in the back storage shed while he and his apprentices did their thing in the front workshop. He even came by and visited every once in a while to see the mess we were making.
Takayama-sensei didn’t really know what to do with us at the time, but I think it worked out for all of us. Makiko and I learned clay, and now he has a full classroom on weekends with more than 50 students. Interesting how things work out.
Since coming back to to the States three years ago, I have had to transition from working in woodfire and gas kilns to what is available to me here, electric. It has been an interesting journey, and again, the change brought opportunity to explore. No complaints, just a new set of skills to acquire, and friends in the area have gas kilns if I ever have the need.
I also fire out in my driveway on the odd occasion. We use steel drums and the effects are often very beautiful (see above). There is a wheel at KAEDE, and a gracious friend has opened his studio to me just down the street. Almost all the pottery at KAEDE is for sale, so if you see something you like, let us know and it is yours. Anything but the kitchen sink really… and that includes some of the bathroom sinks. 😉
At some point in the not too distant future, we plan to open the back of the building to those who wish to have some fun with clay. Until then, the studio ‘down the street’ is more than adequate to fit our needs. So, if you are interested in getting your hands dirty, or just want to look, contact us and we’ll be happy to oblige.
Oh, the ‘+ Other Crafts bit? Well, since coming back from Japan I have been thinking of creating various wood/paper products that could possibly be called Japanese. I use this phrasing because, inevitably, they are altered in some way from the original Japanese product, and also because I have not been trained by any Japanese artisan in woodcraft. This is what might be called a byobu :
It is more legitimately a combination of a byobu and shoji. At any rate, it is a large folding paper screen (6ft x 8ft).
This next item uses Japanese rice straw mats, tatami , as a bench in the living room.
There are many beautiful Japanese crafts, and we have tried to bring a pleasant taste of Japan to the bed and breakfast’s very stately New England Federalist style. This fusion of styles is who we are, we certainly look forward to the opportunity of hosting you.