In two weeks time I'm going to Japan for six months—at least that’s the plan as long as my visa clears. I’ve written a number of times about the exhibition in Tokyo I’m showing in alongside Ken Matsuzaki, Lisa Hammond, Yoji Yamada and Masaki Dejima, but what I haven’t officially announced yet, although many already know, is that I’ll be spending six months afterwards working for Ken himself. Five months as his apprentice, followed by one month where I’ll be able to make and fire one kiln load of work in the traditional Japanese oribe style. If these pots happen to be any good they’ll be carefully shipped back to exhibit here somewhere in London.
What a way to end my apprenticeship with Lisa Hammond. For three and more years she’s not only spoke profusely about Japan and their ceramics but she’s made in a style that echoes it, making pots for tea ceremony. I’ve heard so much and feel as if I have some faint grasp of it but I’ve never truly experienced it or seen where these objects and traditions come from. This will be a chance to not only experience that culture, but to hopefully practice it thoroughly too, I can’t say anything for certain yet as I’ve really no idea what I’ll be up to other than the normal studio tasks.
I’ll try to continue to document my time there as thoroughly as I can but I don’t want to be too gung-ho with my camera in somebody else’s environment. Likely anything I do post will be mixed with photographs from my archives but I can’t wait, although my posting time might have to drastically change due to the time difference. It’ll be a shock to my system I’m sure, especially living somewhere so rural compared to three busy years commuting in London—but it’s only six months, no doubt it’ll sadly be over in the blink of an eye.