Early in my tea journey I started to collect teapots from Tokoname, Japan. I was so impressed by this functional artwork that it spawned for me two pursuits.
First, I wanted to visit Tokoname and see the studios and kilns of these artists. I was fortunate enough to be able to make this trip a few years ago, and I may write more about it soon.
Second, I was inspired to make my own teapots. This has been a long journey, and after a lot of work I am starting to make work I am proud of. Being limited to firing in a community studio in electric kilns has been something of a frustration lately, as potters will know that reduction firing, and wood firing in particular, is the only way to get certain effects and liveness into the work.
As the next step along this endless path, I attended a workshop on firing a noborigama style kiln. I met a lot of great people, learned a lot about the process, and I was also very happy with the results. I feel that the firing, expertly led by Nick Schwartz and Bruce Dehnert, brought the work to life in a way that only wood can do.