We hosted a community open house at PWSSH last Friday. This was the official welcoming party to celebrate our new studio on Shaanxi Lu. We first moved in last February but needed the extra time to finish renovations. The new location has been perfect for our growing ceramics community. We have upgraded our kilns, glaze facilities, and studio space as well as added a coffee shop and gallery. I truly believe the "if you build it they will come" mentality. It has been great to see our class sizes grow steadily since we moved in.
The open house was a chance for us to welcome old friends to the new space and make a few new ones in the process. The support we received was greater than expected. Between 60-80 people participated in the painting and hand building demonstrations. The best part was that they were almost all new to our workshop. Their excitement reminds me of the power that clay has to captivate individuals. I see people's excitement everyday in class but this giddy show of enthusiasm surprised me. It was refreshing to see adults laughing and giggling like school kids as they made their first pot.
In the gallery we held a wood fire exhibition featuring Marc Lancet and Masakazu Kusakabe. Both artists where in attendance for a book signing of the new Chinese translation of their book Japanese Wood Firing. Kusakabe is known as an innovator of smokeless wood kiln designs. (Click here for a Ceramic Arts Daily article on the design). In addition to being an urban friendly design the kiln produces dramatic fired surfaces in relatively short firing cycles. Marc's tea bowl pictured above was one of the nicest in the show. The PWS Jingdezhen is now hosting Marc and Kusakabe for a week long wood firing workshop.
During the week prior to the open house Marc, Kusakabe, Guo Yuhong and I made a quick trip to Yixing to see teapot makers. Ill write more about that in my next post. For a little teaser check out this bamboo inspired teapot. Amazing detail.