This weekend is my favorite show of the year, the Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival in California. While my sister, Brena, ran my booth at Palo Alto, we were at a craft fair in Japan. As tourists and buyers, that is! There are really no differences between an American craft show and a Japanese one. There is some beautiful work, some clever and unusual design, interspersed with some serious crap. I felt right at home. I was really only interested in the pottery, and there were a lot of ceramic artists there with their work.
I was captured by several artists, and I was so aware as I picked up their work and checked it out how they must be feeling. There were a lot of people at the show, but not a lot of people carrying shoppping bags, and sales seemed a bit on the slow side.
I bought several things. Two beautiful pieces of porcelain work from a woman named Takahashi Masako. You can see Royoji posing with the pieces here. He thought I was crazy buying pottery when I can just make it myself! Like at a craft show in America, people were saying how expensive everything was. I thought differently; I thought the prices were very reasonable. The delicate porcelain platter I bought with a beautiful and subtle decoration was only $40, and a matching cup with little pointy feet for $16. From another woman I bought what I would describe as an altar piece. It looks to me like a little fort or a hut that a tribe in a remote desert might live in. The artist who created the piece is pictured at the top. It was $20. Her business cards were all written by hand on a little piece of paper, it was a tiny work of art in itself.