Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Best wood-fired bonsai pot so far

I was really pleased with this wood-fired bonsai pot that came out of the kiln this month. It is probably this year’s best pot. It measures 27×23×7.5 cm. I am planning to replicate the success, but there is always an element of luck when it comes to wood firing.

P. S. For a look at several wood-fired kilns see my blog post about them at http://lomov.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/during-recent-trip-to-canberra-with.html

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Root graft: Trident Maple

Easy as 1-2-3, but will the tree survive?

If the graft is successful the nebari should look better in 2 years.

P. S. To see what this tree was three years ago, when I bought it, see the following entry: http://lomov.blogspot.com.au/2007/10/natasha.html

Sunday, August 22, 2010

First try on a potter's wheel

Yesterday, I tried to use potter’s wheel for the first time. After working on it for four hours, left palm of my hand was bruised. At times, clay felt like sandpaper. After a few failed attempts, I have thrown two forms that later will become a coffee mug and a small round bonsai pot. The teacher was very encouraging. The picture below shows a beautiful Moreton Bay Fig I saw on the way to ceramics class.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Japanese style wood-fired ceramic kilns

During a recent trip to Canberra with a group of potters I saw a number of Japanese style wood-fired kilns. Image below shows a two-chambered noburigama kiln at Sturt Pottery in Mittagong.

This pottery also has two anagama kilns. The image below left shows the longer anagama, while the image below right shows the front of the small anagama.

We also visited Old St Luke's Studio in Gundaroo owned by ceramic artist Ian Jones. He built a nine-meter-long anagama kiln shown in the image below left. This kiln is fired for five days and it takes twenty tonnes of pine wood. The other kiln at this studio is a one-chambered noburigama shown in the image below right.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My first Kokufu-ten album

I finally got my first Kokufu-ten album! Another “boring” coffee-table book avoided by the rest of my family. It is this year's issue No 84. A couple of observations I would like to share. First, the trees looked more interesting and impressive in real life. Second, the album allows a quick glance at the exhibition and enables us to see general trends. Many trees at Kokufu-ten exhibit ancient maturity and suggest an awe-inspiring length of time and the amount of labor it took to produce them. At the same time, such trees may lack artistic individuality. Look through the album and you will find trees that are almost identical to each-other. Is it a “bonsai copied from another bonsai” situation encouraged by the abundance of mass-produced advanced stock? I still love the book and keep going over my favorite trees.

Jeff Mincham's teabowls 2009

Last weekend,
I saw an exhibition
of ceramic art
by Jeff Mincham
at Watson Arts Centre
near Canberra.
I especially liked
this triptych
of teabowls:
1 - Morning Glory,
2 - Bitter Winds,
3 - Survival.
They would make
perfect three cups of
tea for a tea ceremony
complementing an exquisite teahouse.