Welcome to our temporary blog regarding our stay in Japan. We are in Japan to investigate the ceramic materials; glass, ceramics and the in between. In April we travelled to Toyama to be apprentices at Peter Ivy's studio. In the following two months we will assist Peter in the studio and travel through Japan to meet tradition, technology and craft.

 

With the support from the Danish Arts Foundation - Statens Kunstfond.

A nearby site that was once used for mining clay has transformed into a beautiful site with nature taking over again. We were there to take a little.

Invited by the local paper maker, we had lunch with his family at this restaurant known to be the last supper served before entering 'hell mountain' in the Tateyama mountain range.

Being taught the art of paper making by craftsman Takakuni Kawahara owner of Birudan Washi Paper, being one of few producing traditional Washi paper and growing his own paper plants.

Known to be the thinnest paper in the world by Takakuni Kawahara.

Traveling to various places in our close surrounding gives us the opportunity to find local materials we dry and grind to create our earth coloured ceramics and to make our coloured glass.

At Scissors-Japan we got an introduction by the owner, on how their scissors are made. Machines will never be able to fulfil all needs and craftsmen are needed to create these refined pieces as perfect as they are.

One of the many hand-tools of a lacquer craftsman. This scalp he uses to harvest his own juice from the tree that makes the lacquer. Trees that grow in his own garden. Since the juice is very aggressive to the skin, one has to be careful.

First glass test is made with clay from the ''Temple-mountain '' behind Peter Ivy's studio in Toyama. A research about capturing a ceramic 'feeling' to the glass - reminding us of its origin combining our two fields of work.

One of the first glass melts being tested out by Peter and Rick. The soil collected for this glass comes from the top of a hill behind the shrine what is the studio's neighbour.

Okumura Crucible Factory in Osaka. Eiji Hara and Hitomi Nakatani showed us around the factory where talented craftsmen work the products. They hand build their products costume made with a high level of craftsmanship using locally sourced materials for their production. The factory has been producing crucibles for glass making for more than hundred years.

We melt our glass in small handmade pots from the talented people of the Okumura Crucible Factory in Osaka. The triangle on the pot shows the gas-fired soil that colours the glass.

Left: Crucible containing soil coloured glass with gas-fired soil triangular 'glaze'.

Right: Soil from Toyama Prefecture, rinsed and dried.

 

Glass from our soil glass type. The bobbles, fine grains of sand and soil, tiny pieces of stone, they all collaborate to visualise the glass its source and its early stages. We test how local materials transform to colour in glass and settle their nuances on the surface of a ceramic form.

From the 4th of October we exhibit a selection of our Japanese colour palette, visualising geological nuances juxtaposed with crafted glass and ceramics created from the soils collected on our travels through Japan at Gallery A. Petersen in Copenhagen.

© GERNERJAHNCKE 2018