31 July 2011

53 Degree

Yesterday was an opening of 53 Degree North Exhibition. There were really good mixture of work and it was great to see them all. Here are some images from the show and my favourites. Click the title, you can view the idea behind of each work. Click the name of artist, you can visit their site. 

me and my “Rakugaki”
Thanks for coming all the way, David!
I love this “Ceramic Scribbles” by Anne Laycock
Fine liner drawing “Compulsions” by talented Harvey Herman
stunning “Worth its weight in Porcelain” by Joseph Hartley
Gorgeous “Textile necklaces” by Therese Johnson
beautiful mix media painting by Alisa Read “Storm”
The exhibition is on until 27th August. If you have a chance, do pop over. xm

26 July 2011

exhibition coming soon!!!

Two of my work have been selected in the forthcoming exhibition ‘53 Degree’ at the New School House Gallery in York! This exhibition was open for the students across the UK, who are currently undertaking Degree in Visual / Applied Arts and 53 selected students will be showcasing their work. I applied actually bang on the deadline, as me being hesitant for a while and eventually decided to have a go anyway. When they told me that I got through, I was over the moon! 
The 53 Degree Exhibition will be on from 30th June until 27th August. I will be there for the opening show on this Saturday 30th at 2pm, along with other selected artists. So exciting!! If you have a chance to visit York, please do pop over. For more information about the gallery, please click here. xm

22 July 2011

smile maker of the week #4

a wonderful post arrived from Japan
too cute to open!
gorgeous zine by hiki 
open and smile
and more zine
my favourite page

I first saw those lovely photos by hiki via my friend’s flicker favourite and soon fell in love with her world. I love all about her photos, how she captures the everyday beauty around us in its composition and its subtlety that tickles your heart without unnecessary explanation. Her zine is available from her shop among with other gorgeous Japanese goodies. I am sure you will find your awe. 

Have a nice weekend everybody! xm

19 July 2011

story from Brier Hey Pottery

Brier Hey Pottery is the studio run by David Constantine White. David is my mentor. Well, I call him so. He was the key person who made me realise that we are allowed to pursue our passion. 
It goes right back to the summer in 2000, when I first met David. I was a full-time student then, who just finished a Diploma study in Ceramics. With my tutor’s suggestion, I took off a long train journey to POTFEST in Penrith, annual ceramic festival. Among over 100 potters, I stopped at David’s stall. His colourful and almost painting-like approach to the ceramics were so fresh to my eyes. His style of Majolica was nothing like what I learnt at college. My heart began to whisper ‘I want to know more’. Following this curious meeting, I later visited his studio in Mytholmroyd. This was my first time visiting an artist’s studio so I was excited and scared at the same time. So many ‘real’ questions after questions popped in to my head. 
Things did not stop there. Of course, it is hard for any student to get a pottery related job or start their own business soon after the diploma course, and there are many other reasons to hold it back in your life. In my case, I started to work as a social worker but thanks to David, I also started to help in his studio voluntarily here and there on my irregular days off. I found myself enjoying simply being in the clay world. This has led me to a paid assistant job in his studio, which I still did on irregular basis on my days off. I’ve learnt so much by just being there. Things you have never learnt at college. Making clay dug out locally, mixing low materials in a large batch, maintaining the studio, tips in glazing and decorations etc etc. It was a very fortunate experience.  
Sadly I had gradually reduced my working time in his studio as the demand of my career as a social worker with long hour and shift work did tire me out without a proper day off. 2 hour journey to his studio on my days off (although it changed from train journey to driving) did kill me. I was also about to give up the hope, as it seemed to be so long away for me to be able to work in a creative business. Eventually I stopped working at his studio, instead I was developing my career as a senior social worker leading a team. Nevertheless I’ve kept in touch with him and visited his studio occasionally. I suppose I could not completely destroy my creative soul. 
So you can imagine how grateful I felt when I got my current job as the pottery workshop instructor. My life has totally changed since. I feel the experience at his studio has finally paid off. Looking back at those experience in his studio, I have realised that so much stuff has soaked into what I do now. Yet I still do have lots to learn. David is still my mentor in distance. I ask every time I have questions at work and more recently my own studio work. The words cannot explain enough how lucky I am.  
This summer, I have been returning to work in his studio on a regular basis, like a short term apprenticeship, making most of time off my degree course. There were several reasons that I wanted to do this, but mostly I needed the positive influence of someone who does what they truly love in the present. All my energy spent on the fundraising project, last minute course work and the show, have turned into a complex feeling that is somewhat overwhelming and now added with recent homesick, I was struggling to motivate myself. I needed to kick my backside. I am glad that I’ve made this move. A huge thank you to David, again. 

David is currently working toward POTFEST in August, followed by a similar event in France. I am sure I could share more stories here soon. xm

17 July 2011

curiously compulsive #1

old kitchen tools. 
season of car boot. 
endless treasure hunt. 
I look at them, feel them and use them. 
my heart sings. xm

13 July 2011

mind the birds

Doodling from the ‘wings wall’. (We have a wall and a cabinet in front covered with birds and other flying creatures in paintings, printings, cards, ceramics and even charity shop found… It is one of my favourite spaces in our house) Never been so obsessive with birds until recently. Now my mind is full of birds. I seriously enjoy watching birds everyday. Are you birdie mind? 

These guidebook from Sunday Telegraph are ace. xm 

9 July 2011

simply i heart

images kindly permitted by Mitsuru Koga

I fell in love at first sight. Made my heart sing and brought a smile to my face. Those sweet sea stones by Mitsuru Koga. Aren’t they just aww? He emphasises the nature of the found objects by his creative hand, which echos the coexistence of human and nature. 
A number of Japanese artists including Mitsuru have lately started the joint exhibition event both in Tokyo and Sendai, aiming to support the artists in Sendai (City of North Japan, where significantly damaged by Tsunami on 11th March). I admire those artists who stand up and do what they are the best at, to support others. Information of the event is here (I’m afraid all in Japanese) but please do visit Mitsuru’s world here. I can assure you too go awwwwwwww. Enjoy! xm

5 July 2011

brown bandage and white wall

The use of your good hand. One of those things you take for granted. Since my right wrist accident, ordinary things that I do daily like driving, brushing my hair, washing up, lifting a kettle etc are wee bit difficult. Although I am currently off from my own studio work as I won’t be able to knead clay or handle the wheel, I’m still handling clay for my students at work, where my white bandage turns into brown daily. I wish I were both handed. Nevertheless, my left hand managed to do a pretty good job over the weekend. xm
painted the garage wall.
and the skirting board.
and the kitchen door. (and the rabbit door.)

3 July 2011


We’ve been busy again this weekend doing the house up. Had a lovely lunch break out in the garden. Looking up at the beautiful blue sky with not a single cloud. Hello July. Hello English summer. My hub says it’s rather too hot but not for me. Having grown up in a ‘proper’ humid hot city in Japan, it is just right. Hope my folks are coping well in the hot summer over there with restricted electricity use. 

Been a long time since I last visited. I do miss them lots these days. xm