I am looking at a busy fall. Laura Dortmans will be coming to work with me for a couple of months starting in late September. Laura was the high school art teacher at Kobe's Canadian Academy. She has spent the summer firing kilns in America.  There will one-day workshops over the two first weekends of October, as we prepare for the fall firing. The big kiln will be fired in late October. And the annual Open House will be held in mid November. In late November Jeff Shapiro will give a one-day demo at the Ogami studio.

Dates to remember

September 30, October 1st: 2 one-day workshops with Chika Dix. This is a chance to make a piece for the fall firing. 10am to 2pm. lunch included. 5,000¥

8th; One-day hand-building workshop with the Mutos and Furuokas. This annual event is a family friendly affair, and a chance to make a piece for the fall firing. Lunch included. 5,000¥

October 21 to 23: Loading the kiln.

October 27 to November 1: Firing 

November 4 and 5: Unloading

November 11 and 12th: Fall Open House

November 18: Demo by Jeff Shapiro.   Jeff was born in the Bronx, NY in 1949. He presently works and lives in upstate NY with his wife Hinako.  He studied ceramic arts while living in Japan for 9 years from 1973-1981. His work has been exhibited internationally in: Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, England, and Japan. His work can be found in numerous Museum collections including: The Carlo Zauli Museum, Faenza, Italy, The Massachusetts Museum of Fine Art, Boston MA, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY, The Fuller Museum, Brockton, MA. He has given workshops and seminars in many countries around the world, and has built 2 wood fire kilns in Italy.

Also of note... Bruce Denhert will be coming for a firing workshop in late April to early May. We are working out the details now but this will be an event not to be missed.

If you are interested in any of these events, please contact John for more information.


SAKÉ 2017 - The Art of Ambience: Contemporary Saké Vessels with Character'  Schaller Gallery Saint Joseph MI. This show is curated by Lucien Koonce and features some of the best potters from around the world producing sake ware. 

Gallery Reception: Friday, October 6, 2017

Exhibition posted online: Monday, October 9, 2017

To View: www.schallergallery.com




Firing the Oki-doki Anagama  in Germantown, NY, July 2017.

I was honored to, once again, be asked to lead the firing of Susan Kotulak's Oki-doki kiln. This is possibly my favorite kiln to fire. From front to back, floor to ceiling; there isn't a bad spot in the kiln. It's easy to fire, the temp climbs in reduction, and when it stalls, a simple tweak of the damper get's it going to where you want. But like any firing, the kiln is only half the story. Susan and her husband Ron Sencer have created such a warm and enjoyable environment. The stoking crew was a great mix of a few of my students making their first trip to fire in America, and the old hands of the Oki-doki. It was a fantastic bunch. During the cooling we had field trips to Stormking; the famous sculpture garden near Newburg NY, and visits to Jeff Shapiro, Peters Valley and Peter Callas. Thank you Sue and Ron!


Kiln Building/Firing workshop. December, 2016

This December master kiln builder John Bradford, from Taos, NM, came over to lead a kiln building/firing workshop. With seven participants, five local and two from the US, we built a small anagama that tied into the back of the chimney on our larger anagama. Over two three-day weekends we managed to build it. We loaded on December 27 and 28th. Lit it that evening and fired it off with cone 12 over at midnight New Years Eve. Shiro christened it 'Little Snapper' based on the shape, a name at which most Japanese cringe. It was a great way to ring in the New Year. Pictures below.

Hank Murrow residency and Fall Firing

This fall we were very fortunate to have Hank Murrow here for a 6-week residency. Hank, an Oregon Potter for over 50 years, has been on the forefront of Shino glazes in North America. He was a joy to have around. He gave demonstrations at our studio here and also at The Canadian Academy for the students and teachers there. Hank is an incredibly generous soul and we were very fortunate to have him here. 

    I was also blessed with an wonderful assistant for 3 months this fall: Tyler Billman. A student at the University of Chicago, he had taken a semester off to work with us here. For a 21-year old he was wise and capable beyond his age. He was never late, and never complained about any dismal job I asked him to do. He is sorely missed.

While they were here we fired the big kiln and it was one of the best firings we have had. Another young man, Sean Couley was here for the firing. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be a conduit for the people who love Japan and ceramics.

Snow Mountain Firing, Reno NV. March, 2016

The New Studio