The Olsen kiln firing was a terrific success. Our experiments worked, and Ryoji said it was the best firing ever to come out of the Olsen kiln. There was a TV crew on hand to film the unloading, and we are all thrilled. Here are a couple of pictures from the site-- my work top pic, bottom pic from inside the kiln:
We are still waiting on our baby, the Olsen kiln, to cool down enough to crack open tomorrow and pull our work and see if our little experiment of blowing in ash on one side and sawdust on the other worked to create more beautiful surfaces. Every evening, after dinner, certain members of our tribe have been taking the walk up past the apple orchard to visit the kiln, drink some sake, and pray a little
I just can’t wait to see what comes out. We are all hopeful but also prepared for disasters. We had a meeting last night to discuss improvements for future programs. My suggestion was that there be room for one more firing for those of us who didn’t get enough. I’ve discovered that I like fire. I like the rawness of the firings, the different personalities of the kilns, and attempting to control the heat. Three firings just isn’t enough. I feel like I’ve met a new lover but I’ve only been allowed a couple of dates. I’m a demanding girl so I want more, more more!
By the way, it was my birthday yesterday on July 27. I had one of the most fabulous birthdays ever. I was given lots of small gifts from my friends, and best of all, a group photo of all of us together with notes that everyone wrote to me. And there were birthday songs and other small gifts throughout the day. I was on the verge of tears to receive so much. I feel a deep affection and love for the people here, all so different yet so lovable, just like my friends back home. I can’t believe I will be leaving in a few days and some of them I will never see again. This program that happens here in Kanayama is amazing, but the people who I’ve met here make it magical. I have to stop typing now because I feel tears coming again.