Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Akira Satake Workshop Results

Yesterday we made a whirlwind trip to Charlotte NC to choose the granite for our kitchen countertops. While we were there we stopped by Clay Works to pick up my work from the Akira Satake hands on workshop I attended in February. Click here and here to read more details about the workshop. Above is a rustic container form which is formed without regard for refinement. The idea is to cut into a block of clay quickly and  roughly with the intention of forming a piece one might see on a mountain top or perhaps the emulating a rock face.

We were supposed to hollow the middle to form a container but I ran out of time during that segment. I asked Clay Works to let the piece dry for several weeks before firing because it's about four inches thick. It's glazed with only red iron oxide. I'd forgotten all about this piece. Now I'm inspired to make more containers with this rough gestural exterior. I think a piece like this would be a nice addition to a bonsai planting. Achieving the natural look to the clay isn't as easy as it appears. Often overworking or trying to much makes the piece appear contrived. Give it a try to see what I mean.

Later in the workshop I had a few minutes to play around with some clay and I made this rough tray. It's coated with red iron oxide and the interior has a thin coat of shino. Seeing results like these has me missing working in a community clay setting and using cone 10 clay and reduction firing.

Here are two tumblers I made with the Satake Kohiki slip decoration with red iron oxide rubbed exterior and a shino liner. These two probably could have had more of the stain rubbed off.

Here are two cups also formed with Satake's signature four foot cup and kohiki slip exterior with a shino liner. I think these two cups belong to someone else and someone else picked up mine. So if  you recognize these as yours please let me know and I'll ship them to you. Normally I sign my work but we were all so intent on learning this new technique we all forgot to sign our work. I did remember to sign the first two pieces, but the tumblers and cups I did not. I'm glad  made time to stop by Clay Works; it was good for me to see the results from the workshop.

On the way home I stopped by Carolina Clay Connection to pick some glaze supplies. I chose a fine detail sgraffito tool to use on a couple of bowls I just made, stay tuned to see those with before and after. I also brought home 25 pounds of a smooth red clay. I hope to make some sculptural pieces with the red clay. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. great results with your Mountain pieces.

  2. What great results from a fun workshop. Nothing like stretching your techniques! Isn't Akira a fun teacher?

  3. Hi Anna, thanks, I am inspired to let loose on some more mountain pieces.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, there is so much to do with clay I find it hard to choose one path, lol.

  4. I love all the colors and textures.

  5. Hi Joanne, thanks, the rich colors remind me of rugged mountains.

  6. Love those textures and the organic shapes.

  7. it seems your workshop was a good one... the color is great on your piece. :0

  8. Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, I waver back and forth between more streamlined and more organic shapes.

    Hi Dee, thanks, it is really stimulating to go to a workshop and think outside my normal way.


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