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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mashiko Potters Fund

Reposted from my website page. Please find links to tweet, share, and email there:


As the days continue since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many projects have grown to help the people affected. The images we have seen are devastating and touch us, urging us to help those who are experiencing what we cannot imagine. Many have helped Red Cross, auctions like Handmade for Japan have been organized, people have joined forces to help animals, even my favorite band, Phish, is releasing a show they played in Japan with all proceeds going towards relief. People are finding ways that are close to them to help, and I have found a cause close to me. 

50% of all sales made in my online Etsy shop now through the end of April will be donated to the Mashiko Potters Fund. My goal is to be able to donate $500 on May 1.

I came across the Mashiko Potters Fund, or MPF, through email from Pucker Gallery in Boston. 



After reading the email I knew immediately I wanted to help the MPF, organized by potter Ken Matsuzaki and the Mayor of Mashiko. Before I had heard of the MPF I had seen images of magnificent kilns crumbled and amazing pots destroyed. As a potter who has been so influenced by Japanese potters, these pictures struck a chord with me. Mashiko in particular has been the home to two of my favorite potters, Shoji Hamada and Tatsuzo Shimaoka. The village is filled with so many potters and so much history. To think of it coming to and end, the potters losing their livelihoods, and the kilns not being rebuilt is terrible and sad. I want to help this village continue on with what they do so wonderfully. 

Local pottery studio Mudflat is the fiscal sponsor for the MPF. Proceeds will be transfered to them directly. I will be posting regular updates on the progress to the goal of $500 on facebook and twitter.

How you can help:
-purchase a piece from my Etsy shop
-donate to MPF yourself
-share on facebook
-share on twitter
-share on your blog
-email your friends
-spread the word any way you can

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Prettiest Bathroom You'll Ever See

I attended the Elusive Teabowl Workshop at Harvard that I had previously blogged a bit about, and I will tell you all about it, but that time must wait. Right now we need to talk about bathrooms. Gorgeous bathrooms. Harvard ceramics department bathrooms.

Next time you are even close to 219 Western Ave in Allston, go see it. It's right next to the ceramics department entrance, so you can quietly sneak in and check it out without anyone thinking you an odd duck sneaking around bathrooms. It's worth the stop. I love seeing it any time I'm at the studio for an event. The wall and floor tiles were created by Lucy Scanlon. According to her website, the project was created after she had won a juried competition for the job while she was teaching there.


This phone camera shot of a dimly lit corner doesn't do it justice, but hey, I left the tripod and lamps at home. You are still able to see the incredible waves of texture in the tiles, including the border tiles at the top. Even the toilet paper holder is awesome. It's not every day you say that, that's why it's so exciting!


The texture of the tiles is amazing, but I love the glaze as well. It's a gorgeous aqua shade with lots of variation in it, varying so much from tile to tile, and even from corner to corner on a single one. The color and forms give you so much to look at. It still has the classic "blue/water" theme that so many bathrooms have, but it is the most unique and beautiful interpretation of it I've ever seen.

219 Western Ave in Allston, entrance is in the back of the building, down a few steps. The bathroom is right around the corner from the display of work that is directly in front of you when you walk in. Let me know what you think.