February 25, 2018

About paints, clay and more paints!

In between classes and outings I was able to spend some quality time in the studio last week. I finished a piece and started work on another one, at the start of the year I was working on 5 Japan themed pieces and I just started work on the final one!

After that piece is finished I am going to take a little time to experiment with some Japanese paper and try something exiting that involves our 3D printer, I also bought a couple of gorgeous,, chunky live edge, Japanese Cedar blocks that deserve some love. I will probable start some new compositions while working on these experiments as well, I have a coupe of exhibitions coming up and I know Latitude 44 Gallery in Toronto has been eagerly awaiting some new work. Also, I have a bunch of empty panels in my storage room that are begging me for some love every time I open the door :)

I did't get to spend as much time in the studio as I might have wanted but there was a good reason! On Thursday I went to Kato Sensei's studio to try my hand at Japanese pottery making again. Kato Hiroshige san is a very talented pottery maker and working at his studio is an absolute joy! 

This time around I was a little more confident so I was able to be a little more daring. I created 2 small cups and 2 matcha blows, which all came out perfectly Wabi Sabi, mostly on purpose ;)

On Friday it was time for more paints at Yamato-E class. I continue to be fascinated by these vibrant paints! 

This week sensei showed me the secrets of adding little gold flakes to your painting.I was really excited to learn about this technique as it is something I might want to incorporate in future pieces. 

It is always a joy to come to Kodera san's house to paint and learn about Japanese culture together with a group of wonderful ladies!

February 13, 2018

Kites and flights and snow!

Last week I had the opportunity to join a lovely group of ladies for some Japanese kite making. When we arrived at this tiny kite shop located in the old main street near Nagoya castle, we were led through a curtain to the back and up the stairs to a large room. Boxes and boxes of kites lined the walls and some tables with supplies were set up in the center of the room.

Sensei kindly showed us hot to spread out the dollop of glue on the wooden board and how to assemble the kite and apply the glue. We had to pay close attention to the order of placement of the bamboo supports and of course it all needed to be done きちんと(neatly).

Next came the tough part, attaching the wires, getting down the knots was particularly difficult but we all managed in the end. When they were finished they still needed to dry over night so unfortunately we didn't get to fly them yet.

In Japan this past weekend was a holiday weekend, which meant hubby had some time off! So we packed up our skis and hoped on a plane to Sapporo, Hokkaido for the annual snow festival.

The snow sculptures on Odori were awe inspiring, not just because of their sheer size but also because the level of detail was out of this world! We first viewed al of them by daylight but made sure to come back in the evening to see them all lit up, they even had some with 3D mapping which was wonderful!

On Saturday we went to Niseko to do some skiing, unfortunately there was a lot of snow and fog so the visibility was quite minimal, the snow however, was amazing and the onsen afterwards felt heavenly. On our way back we stopped in Otaru where they had a beautiful snow lantern festival where hundreds of candles were floating on the canal and lining the street. It was absolutely stunning and an amazing seafood dinner in the tiniest of restaurants was definitely the perfect way to end the day!

On Sunday we explored Sapporo visiting the two additional sites of the snow festival as wel as some temples, an awesome fish market and of course the Sapporo beer museum.

In the evening we visited the Chocolate factory which actually looked like how you would want a chocolate factory to look and the beautiful light displays definitely added to there magic!

We ended the evening with an awesomely Japanese 3d projection show on a snowy field. Awesomeness!