Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Satsuma Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I spent delighting in the flavor of satsuma mandarins and browsing a couple of ceramics books I requested from the library. Mandarin oranges have many anti-oxidant properties and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and recent studies have shown they are also good for the liver. The rest of this week I'll go back and read these two books in more detail.

The first book, Modern Japanese Ceramics, Pathways of Innovation and Tradition by Anneliese Crueger, Wulf Crueger and Saeko Ito with photography by Thomas Naethe is a feast for the eyes with the numerous color plates on just about every other page, although the title is misleading. The book focuses mostly on the history of Japanese pottery with only a few examples of recent Japanese ceramics. But the books is worth reading for the historical aspects and the descriptions of the traditional glazing and decorating techniques and various kiln locations.

If you like like learning about surface techniques in ceramics, you'll love Maureen Mills' book, Surface Design for Ceramics. I wish I'd known about this book several years ago. Many of the surface techniques I've independently discovered and tried on my own are explained in detail in this book. I could have saved myself months of trial and error, mental acrobatics, and unanswered questions about how to accomplish my ceramics goals. I know Amy Huacani and Judy Shreve would enjoy reading the book. Even though I've checked this book out from the library I think I will go ahead and order my own copy of the book.

You might think I have a life of leisure and in one way you'd be correct. Please don't envy me my leisure. I do have time to read, but I also have time to think. Time to think about the future and reflect on the past. Time to think about where I want to live and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Time to reflect on my past life and the stresses of living in today's world and how I want to change my way of living. I find all this thinking expends a tremendous amount of energy but is also very necessary right now. Come back again for a bit about the past and more about the future.


  1. I agree that when you are doing heavy thinking (as it sounds like you are) it can be exhausting. But I hope that it leads you to where you need & want to be.

    That surface decoration book looks wonderful. I will have to try to find it.

  2. Hi! I was surprised to see my name on your blog. I'll check out that book from my library-- hopefully they have it! peace to you in the decision-making.

  3. Hi Jerry, thanks for your kind thoughts. The book is available on Amazon. I figure I will get it when I get relocated, but my blog is a a good reference for me.

    Hi Amy, thanks, hope you can find the book I'm sure you will enjoy it.

  4. I don't think it is a bad thing to have some time for thoughts. reading and eating.
    These will get you to where you need to be.

  5. Hi Amy, thanks, check out the book at the library I think you might like reading it.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, sometimes I think I tend to overthink things, anyway, I am such a doer it is hard for me to take time to just read and think. I am sure there will come the time when I will wish I was back in this position. Ha

  6. "Slowing down" is always harder work than moving fast, as is genuine thinking. I find that when I'm busy, it's easy to ignore some of the hard things I truly need to think through. I appreciate you sharing book recommendations. I plan to look both up at the library.

  7. It is extremely interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

  8. Hi Julie, thanks, you are so right, it seems easy to me to barrel along quickly, but so hard to slow down, I am trying to practice more of that. Each book are good for both inspiration and technique. I am sorry it has taken me so long to avail myself of the benefits of the library system. Better late than never though.

  9. The surface design book looks like a good book for inspiration – will have to try and get a hold of a copy. Sending good thoughts for thinking your way!

  10. Hello Linda,

    I didn't know those oranges are called satsuma mandarines.( we call them just "mikan" which means oranges). They are the most popular type in our country, come into season now and arrive at the supermarket from farms. They are very cheap here.

    I saw your black and white feather-pieces and also a white bark piece. I love all of them!! It seems to me you've unconsciously captured the spirit of native Americans so well. I hope that it'll lead you to where your heart really needs and aspires for!!

  11. Hi Jewels, thanks, try the library I just requested it from one of the other libraries in the state how wonderful to have all those books at my disposal.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, the satsuma mandarin is a smaller mandarin and sweeter than the regular mandarin and is supposed to be nearly seedless and it has those anti-oxidant properties more than regular oranges. they are hard to find because they sell out so quickly. thanks about my ceramics, I actually wasn't happy with the feather pieces and I sent them to the recycle pile so I will be re-doing them, plus that was right when we were moving and I didn't have room for them and only chose to take the best pieces to get fired. Mysticism and symbolism seems to figure into my ceramics unconciously and I am trying to go with the flow. I am hoping I can find a place along the way to do more ceramics before we relocate as my sketch book is filling up quickly. Thanks again.


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