Archive | February, 2015

Stone monkey build a bonsai pot day.

7 Feb

Today we had Andrew Pearson’s bonsai pot making workshop at the http://www.marieprett.co.uk singing soul gallery. The aim of the day was to build one main slab built pot and a couple of pinch pots.
For those who don’t know Andrew Pearson bonsai pot maker who trades as stone monkey ceramics entered this years Gafuten pot class for unglazed and glazed pots where he won the gold award in the unglazed class. So we new we were in very good hands. See his site http://www.stonemonkeyceramics.co.uk

Thank you to Marie for a wonderful lunch spread and keeping our tea and coffee levels up.

We started with a couple of pinch pots with very cold clay.

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We started with a slab of clay to the right thickness already prepared by Andrew.

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Once smooth we decided what we were making and cut out the 4 walls.

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Time to start building, we fixed two wall together so we had two sections fixed.

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We then got the 4 walls all fixed together.

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This made it a bit more handleable, so we got the base put on oversized to begin with.

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Having got this well fixed to the base and some coils in to strengthen the seams we put in the drainage holes. I had a Ginko leaf cutter which I have used before for this job.

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Trim of the excess, know now looking a bit more pot like.

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At this point I felt the pot was a little to harsh on the corners for me and what I have in mind for it. So I set about changing the corners.

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With the image softened our attention turned to feet this can be a real make or break feature. I decided to make this a bit more tricky with a stepped foot. I set them back a bit to stop it looking anymore chunky. The height was also reduced which leaves a nice straight finish.

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After a whole load of smoothing, final job was to pop in the wire holes.

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Flip it back over check it over and there you have it best part of 4 1/2 hr work. Now it will be wrapped in plastic and left to dry for about 6 weeks before having its biscuit firing.

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Then we have to choose the glaze, I am sure you all have your own ideas so go on let me know what you would go for. This is the tree that will go in the pot. (It’s a test to see if you got this far)

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Will do an update when and hopefully the kiln gods are kind to me.

Below is Andrew at work on the cascade pot he made to show us each stage as we went along.

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See andrews work at http://www.stonemonkeyceramics.co.uk

Good grief you still with me.

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Update 1/3/15

The pot has dried and here it is after the bisque firing. Another firing to go with the glaze and to make it frost proof.

´╗┐´╗┐

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Kouju-en part 1

7 Feb

This was our last nursery to visit, on our last day in Japan. Having checked out of our hotel we caught the courtesy bus down to the main JR station, stashed our bags in the lockers and walked 20 mins to the nursery of Tomohiro. Specialising in shohin of the highest quality we had a great 2hr on the nursery.

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This was the only nursery we visited where the trees were in winter quarters, Due to the colder conditions In Kyoto.

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Not everything on the nursery is shohin and the staircase up to the roof area had superbly finished Hinoki.

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Part 2 soon


Hope you enjoy the video it gives a better perspective.

Looking forward to monkey day

6 Feb

Tomorrow is the build a pot day with Andrew Pearson looking forward to building my own pot with a gafu winning western god of the pots. But don’t tell him it will put up the price of the course.

Full report to come.

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Taishoen Part 2

5 Feb

I thought I had taken more pictures at the nursery, but realised I must of just been soaking up the enjoyment of our surroundings.
This maple was undergoing some major approach grafts.

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Plenty of superb larger trees of the highest quality.

This sign really says it all, the commitment to expand and share the hobby with the whole world.

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Thank you to Taiga for all his hospitality during the day and to my superb travelling companions Mark & Ritta and Stewart.

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Don’t it look pretty.

3 Feb

Not sure it was in the forecast for today, but it’s here all the same.

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Not everything has snow on, small tress tucked away.

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Not much inside the pergola.

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Another first for Hazel.

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Today was going to be moss hunting day, think that will have to wait.


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Taishoen Part 1

3 Feb

This was a true highlight of our trip, not only meeting the talented and very welcoming Taiga, but being treated to a bright clear day to see the majestic Fuji-San

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The nursery is bigger than the average that I have visited in the past, the work room is comfortable and warm lit by large glass windows and doors. It was good to see Taiga working alongside the deshi even if his material was better than there’s.

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The nursery is well known for its shohin bonsai but it also has a good spread of sizes and species.

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That’s all for now, part 2 soon.

O and I brought a pot.

Kouka-en part 3

1 Feb

More trees from Kouka-en nursery.

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I think this was my favourite tree, black pine over rock it was interesting and something different.

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That’s all from Kouka-en thank you to Bjorn for showing us around and to the others for making it a joy to visit.

Next up will be Taishoen.