Thursday, August 27, 2009


What no photos? Please read on and you'll see why. If someone makes a comment on my blog, I always click on their name and see if they have a blog so I can learn about them. It's easy and it's also a great way to reciprocate with a comment back to that person's blog. Once I'm taken to another person's blog or website I take some time to look around, checking out the various links and categories on their blog. If they have other blogs listed I look at them if I have time and sometimes I might look through a couple of posts. If they have a website connected to their blog I look at that too. I've learned so much about ceramics and potters from around the world just by reading blogs. There aren't any photos in this post, because you have to follow the links to see the photos.

On my last post Anne Webb of Webb Pottery Studio made a comment and I decided to look at her blog again. I've been on Anne's blog and website before, but I thought I'd go back for a second look. So while I was visiting Anne's website I clicked on the stoneware section to look at her work. The very last section under stoneware on Anne's site said Suribachis. Well that peaked my curiosity. What was a suribachis? I had no idea. It looked a lot like a mortar and pestle but a little different, because it had a rough texture on the interior. Anne's description said it was a Japanese mortar and pestle and could be used for grinding spices.

By now you're probably saying, "That Linda Starr is a lot like a cat, always curious", and you'd be right. The older I get the more I quest for knowledge. I decided to look a little further, and did a search on the Internet to learn more. The Gourmet Sleuth has a nice description and history about suribachi. Apparently a suribachi is a rough textured bowl or mortar and a surikogi is the pestle. I'm not going to reiterate what is mentioned on the Gourmet Sleuth site, I'll let you follow the links to read about it and while you're there be sure to read about usu and mochi. Do I have your curiosity peaked? I hope so.


  1. I did "think" a comment response to your last post yesterday… but I know that doesn’t count does it.
    It threw up some very interesting thoughts for me as I sat painting roundels of colour on this hopelessly small vase I am working round the clock on. Black sheep you are not. I have to say that black sheep are rather stuck with their blackness, resistant to change and in particular resistant to colour. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) seems to affect you, so for this reason I think you are more of a shapeshifter, just be careful you don’t turn into the little kitten for ever, because you obviously have done a bit of shifting here for how else could you empathise with it so well? The very theory behind a black sheep is entrenched in its resistance to take on colour. You Linda are about as multi coloured as they come. So be blue, pink, yellow etcetera for ever if you can. Enjoy your shapeshifting, I do!

  2. Hi Kitty, thanks, once again you have hit it on the nose, so to speak. I almost put in the last post about being hyper-sensitive and being very affected by all that surrounds me. Try as I might I cannot change who or what I am, I just have to go with the flow. Even Gary was saying the other night that he liked me for my fiery personality, that would be red and orange I guess.

    I just looked in the garage and another bat was locked in there. I had to open up both doors to let him out. I don't know how they get in there because I always check before I close the doors at night. They must be hiding somewhere. But I've been noticing in the night sky there are many more bats than before, so I am happy about that. They must have a good location to have their young.

  3. Hi Linda,
    I enjoyed following the links and hunting the Suribachi! Suribachi reminded me of some lovely African pots I saw recently that have the roughened surface inside for grinding herbs or grain.

    A very insightful and delightful comment above from Kitty.

    I guess that bats can get through really small openings. Mice, I understand, can squeeze through gaps of only half an inch, and bats are very much like a flying version of a mouse!

  4. Hi Peter, I tried to look up African ceramic mortar and could only find ones made of wood. I did find out that Native American grinding rocks are the same thing as a mortar and pestle and they used granite rocks to grind into the huge boulders. Over time the huge rocks obtained a depression frm being ground usually with acorns they made into a mash. Gary obtained two for me from the mind where he works and we will take them with us when we leave here. I wish I would have thought to post photos of them here, but that can be for another post.

    Yes, Kitty has a real knack for honing in on the crux of the matter and is so very astute with her observations. I have made a couple of drawings at my desk, one with a human head and a black sheep's body and one with a cat head and a human body. These must go into clay somehow as I have time.

    A bat has been visiting regularly resting in the garage ceiling and I have been leaving the side door open for him to escape when I see him in there. The littlest cat has gone to visit his siblings at the animal shelter and I hope someone adopts them all. The little black one was endearing himself to me, but alas if we are moving we can barely take three huge full grown cats let alone a fourth one. Things are progressing along in that avenue quite well so far, more later, thanks Peter, talk to you soon.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment