I could not have chosen a better time to come to Tajimi for my pottery immersion. Spring is in the air; Sakura petals are drifting down like snow; and the two-day annual pottery festival is starting today!
There are rows and rows of stalls selling pottery pieces and delicious smelling snacks, and families young and old have all come out to enjoy the festive mood here along Oribe Street and Ichinokura. Street performers weave their magic amidst the throngs of revellers, while bargain hunters trawl through baskets of ceramic wares for hidden gems. What a sight!
Over at the creators’ market, I see many young potters showcasing their works, and wonder if one day I would be standing on the other side of the aisle doing the same.
Yumiko san and I are starting to get a little tired after all the walking and decide to take a cafe break. I heard earlier from Yuri that there is a nice gallery and cafe called Momogusa, and we head over to enjoy some respite from the crowds. Nestled deep in the woods, Momogusa quiet little paradise.
I am feeling more and more excited as the time approaches 5pm. This is when the kiln will be opened to reveal the pieces that I have been working on over the past 2 weeks! Yumiko san is just as excited about her cups, and I can almost smell the anticipation in the air!
At 5pm, sensei returns to the studio and starts to unload the pieces, wearing a pair of old white glovesago protect his hands from the still simmering kiln. As each piece makes its way out, I can feel my heart beating faster. I spot some of my pieces but some are placed deeper within the kiln. They are so pretty!
As I lift up each of my pieces, I discover that some have turned out mostly as I had intended, while others are unexpected. And because of the different placement of pieces within the kiln, the licking fire has also seared the pieces differently, rendering the same glaze to turn out either creamy or white.
Although I am nowhere near being professional, I am really proud of my growth over the past 3 weeks. How could I have imagined myself making all these pieces before I boarded the airplane from Singapore? Thank you, Tajimi, for this wonderful experience!