Monday, September 29, 2008

The Wood Kiln

This is the wood kiln, pre-firing. Brad and the group just finished firing this guy off around 11 pm last night. Everyone is very anxious to see the results of their work!

The Physical Examination

We had to have another physical exam once we arrived here. They sent us to a city called Jiu Jiang to have this done, which required a two hour bus ride to get to the city. Upon arriving we got a taxi and showed him the address to the doctor's office (in Chinese). He drove us two blocks and said okay you are here and pointed to a little one room doctor's office. We went inside and they said no this is the wrong place. So we went outside and got another taxi. This time the nurse came out and told the driver where to take us, so we figured we were set. We drove around about 15 minutes and the taxi driver dropped us off in front of a large building. So we got out and started heading up the steps when the gate keeper stopped us asking us where we were going. We showed him the address, and he said yet again this is not where you are should be. He was a very friendly guy and took pity on us calling the doctors office, he then told us to wait. About 15 minutes later a guy drives us and tells us to get in. So we take off with this guy, at first on normal roads until they became more and more narrow. Finally we were no longer on a road but a dirt pathway, which led to the doctors office. So this is it, no wonder the taxi drivers didn't know where to take us!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chinese Language Class

This was the first Chinese language class. Mike has been doing a great job teaching the students Chinese. It is not easy. I am going to attend the class this week. This room is also our dining hall. Very spacious and we just got new lights and ceiling fans installed. This is key with the 90+ weather we have had non-stop.

Studio Assistants

Here are two fine gentlemen, Fang Wei and Xiao Min.
They have been very helpful with getting things done around the studio and we exchange free language lessons to each other.

Davin Butterfield

This is Davin during his demo at the studio. He is a potter from New York who completed his BFA from WVU under Bob Anderson. Davin has been giving us great tips and information on making pots, kilns, and being a potter. He also had some good stories to tell about the good ole days at WVU. He also makes beautiful work and has been a great inspiration to us all!

Getting some pots made

Here is myself, Justin, and another Brad making some pottery! Everyone is making good work and enjoying the porcelain clay. Soon, Mike and I will have the stoneware clay processed and ready for the students to mix with the porcelain clay. The soda kiln is more than half way completed and we will see the results of the new mix of clays when we fire soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Wheels on the bus go round and round

Students, Artists, and Friends were headed to Tianbao, where they have an amazing kiln. Despite what it looks like there is an isle on this bus, however it is filled with little stools that people had to sit on because there was not enough seats for everyone.

Introducing Jeff Diehl

Jeff Diehl is a great potter from the Great state of WEST VIRGINIA!! He makes beautiful work, we are very lucky to have him with us for a few weeks in China!

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken

They're several chickens running around the studio grounds all for us to eat. They are killed, cut, cooked, and ate all in the same day. Now that is some fresh food!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yummy Egg Burritos...Chinese style

We often eat these for breakfast, a sure way to get your day started right

View from our room

On a clear day this is what we are able to see out of our window.

Noodle Man

One of our favorite families in Jingdezhen the Noodle Man, makes the best noodles in town. His two daughters help serve food when they aren't in school. Many times they bring over books with lessons on English. Mike is reading to them and having them repeat what they say. We adore them, I am sure you can see why!

Making porcelain clay

Here is how they process the clay and china stone. After the clay is dropped off in a solid rock form it is crushed with the hammer mills. Then it is put in a soaking area to slake down the clay. Once it is a liquid, they will dry it out in forms to make bricks. Finally, you add the dry china stone and kaolin clay together to make pure porcelain clay.

Mid-Autumn Festival

We are very happy to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with our good friend Jiang Sheng Jie. Here the chef at the restaurant we were eating at is showing off a massive flame, and cooking it up. This festival marks the best days of the year to view the moon, Brad shot a great photo of the moon. Check out my new glasses, I got them and an eye exam for $12!

Yummy Cakes


Sunday, September 7, 2008

International Studio

This is the main entrance into the studio.

Here is an inside view of the throwing stations for the students. There are two wheels in each station.

These are two pottery wheels built for the master throwers of the studio. The wheels are designed after ancient Chinese wheels that were built in the ground.

Here is an image of what Mike and I have been up to in the studio, recycling clay. We were able to reclaim 6 large pots of clay. This included scooping out the clay to dry completely then crushing it into powder form, to then wet down and use later.
Here is two of the large tian bao jars that are used to slake down the clay.

More good food~

Squid with peppers. It tastes like really good shrimp!

Green peppers and pork, does it not look delicious?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jiang Sheng Jie

Here is our old friend Sheng Jie outside his school where he teaches in Jingdezhen. He is now teaching Chinese Painting and Studio Ceramics. He also teaches art and english at another school. He is a hard worker and a great artist. We are so happy to see him and spend much time with him again!

Jingdezhen Local Food

After a quick visit at Sheng Jie's school we took a taxi to a restaraunt that serves local food; how chrr;delicious! From top to bottom; tofu, jingdezhen rice noodles, and eggplant. Some of the best food we have had yet!