29 June 2016

starting again

Squeezing up our finance by having my daughter started an extra day at the nursery, I have recently gained my studio day once a week. Using last two of these new occasions, each of them approximately 7 hours, I have set myself back into the studio. Last post shows that I was pretty lost because of the state of it. It was that bad. Yes, I was that bad to look after it, or rather not looking after it. This week, however, I finally managed to tidy up to the level that I can actually get back into work. I still need to mend a leaking roof and remake broken moulds etc etc… on going jobs, but I’m back! 
Once a week is a very limited space of time for working with clay, but it’s better than none. The goal is the show I’ll be taking part in November. The first event in a long while. Fingers crossed for making enough items by then. m x

21 June 2016

it’s time

full of spider webs 
accumulated dust and clutters 
broken pieces 
unfinished pieces
piles of unknown boxes and unknown stuff from elsewhere
no surface can be seen on table or floor
what happened in the last three years
only been three years
yet unexpected three years
as if it was an abandon ship 
embarrassingly neglected place
place that I once dreamed of

where to start
I sigh 

c’mon get on with it
a familiar voice from sky high

it’s time to move on
m x

12 June 2016

Japan here we come 3: NUSHISA

Whilst we were in Japan, one place that I longed to visit. NUSHISA

Some may remember my blog post (→here) about children’s cutlery set. Sabrina absolutely loves these, saying “special spoons”. Indeed they are very special. Individually handmade, beautifully curved wood and softly finished with lacquer in unique colour variations. They are made by Keisei Takemata, a master of NUSHISA

NUSHISA is located in place called Yoshikawa, less than an hour train journey from my parents. It’s a small cafe where you can eat family meals with organic vegetables and fresh fish, whilst you can also enjoy his handmade tableware and furniture. As soon as we walked in the place, we could feel the warmth from the wooden furniture and surrounding. Each wooden furniture shows different faces with different characters but all look happy. Especially the chairs. So fun to choose from, my daughter alike.

Main menu changes weekly. The photo shows what we had for lunch on the day. These homemade Japanese meals are far beyond my forte. It was delicious! We certainly enjoyed it but I wish I could cook like this! 

Eating with wooden tableware gave me a fresh sensation. So light, so warm. It comforts the users. Something totally different from ceramic ware, it was an exciting experience to me. When it comes to Japanese lacquer ware, I usually imagine traditional shyu-red or black shiny ones, which has somewhat a snobbish look. Keisei’s lacquer ware, instead, gives us gentle and calm feel, and the most of all the warmth. Unlike traditional shiny lacquer ware, Keisei’s ware has the texture of wood and rustic colour variations. They have rather “down-to-earth” look, no gimmick or no snobbishness, just genuine honesty. You can tell that not just by looking, but also by touching by hands and your own mouth. (When you eat Japanese food, unlike us placing everything on a plate and using a folk and knife, we lift a bowl to eat with chopsticks, sometimes it touches our mouth directly, so each ware becomes more close to us.)

My daughter also enjoyed her meal, which originally came with that special spoon, but she picked up much large wooden spoon from the table. She certainly enjoyed it, opening her mouth so big and wide! That’s the way you do it, girl! 

We have brought two of his handmade plates home. We loved those quirky shape and lovely texture on the surface. It’s fun to think about what and how to display food on them! 

You can view more of NUSHISA (→here). Hope you enjoy it, too. m x 

7 June 2016

Japan here we come 2: celebration time

Visiting family in Japan is always special, but there was another special opportunity for us. 

Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3). 
In Japan we celebrate children’s growth and good health at the age of three and seven for girls, five for boys. Shi-Go-San is traditionally on 15th November and we often visit a shrine for blessing, but we wanted to do it during our stay as my daughter turns to three this summer. 

I guessed it would be pretty hard work for a toddler to get dressed in kimono, have her hair done, and walk to shrine all in one go, so we had two separate days to do the blessing at our local shrine and to get photo taken. Thanks to the professional photographer who has this super magic to turn a wiggly toddler into a photo-shooting mode! It was brilliant! 

Both days were lovely and we enjoyed it very much. My baby is growing fast! mx

3 June 2016

Japan here we come 1: family time

We went on holiday in Japan last month. It’s been nearly four years since we last visited and first time for our daughter. Thankfully she was fine with her first long flight. Pretty much everyday she was just full of beans. We had a wonderful time. 

We didn’t plan a lot this time, as we wanted her to get used to Japanese family. I was rather worried how she would react to people, but there was no need for that. She was happy as soon as she saw her grandparents. It was the same for my brothers family, she was giggling and smiling. Good job we’ve been doing Skype so often. The power of Skype cannot be underestimated. Especially to one of her cousins who is the same age as her, holding hands and walking around together. What a lovely sight it was! 

Weather wise it was stunning sunny early summer. We enjoyed picnics and visiting animal park. Spent our spare time at so many parks, running around, playing with slides and seesaws. Picking strawberries at her granddad’s allotment, getting excited with origami jumping frogs made by her cousin. Every moment was precious.

Mum’s food is always the best but everywhere you go you won’t fail in Japanese food. We certainly enjoyed it and Sabrina did too. She ate well, played well, slept well. It was a lovely three weeks. mx