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Here is Kayla's article
UZUKI POTTERY CLASS
Course A - one day tea bowl or sake cup making class
1 or 2 (sometimes 3) people in a class
The class is open on Mondays and Tuesdays
One class lasts around 2 and a half hours:
Morning class 10: 00am - 12： 30pm
Afternoon class 2: 30pm - 5： 00pm
The fee for the pottery class is 6,000yen per person including the costs of the materials.
Course B - private regular class
As for the details of this class, please email me.
comments & photos from the regular class attendants
A letter from Nathalie
With mountains to the East, West, and North, a beautiful clear river with herons and egrets stocking carps,
thousands of shrines, temples, and gardens, Kyoto is a haven for peace and serenity… and I miss it everyday!
It is also one of the most important places for ceramics in Japan. So on my 3 months stay in Japan, learning
Japanese ceramics was my very first priority. Two years before, on my last trip to Kyoto, I visited at the last
minute the Raku Museum…and everything in me suddenly changed. My visit to the Museum had triggered
an unexpected rush of emotions and upon my return to New York City I decided to start taking ceramic classes.
But, nothing, nothing could be compared to the classes I took with Mr. Hirayama when I returned to Kyoto this
As I fir st stepped into his studio in the western side of Kyoto, I knew that this was going to be more than just a
pottery class for foreign tourists. And indeed it was much more than that: a real contact with the Japanese
culture through the humble and gracious teaching of Mr. Hirayama. So here it is! Not your local tourist stop
ladies and gentlemen, but a real, open, and generous teaching of this art, its history, and more importantly a
deeper introduction to the Japanese culture. So, turn o your cell phones, put down your cameras, and throw
away your guide books for you are about to step into the realm of a genuine artist who has dedicated his life
to an art too often mislabeled as craft.
From the techniques of the wheel to those of hand-building, from the techniques of slab building to the application
of natural glazes, Mr. Hirayama patiently demonstrated and helped me slowly develop every step of the way
the basic skills needed to start as a ceramist. But, before I would get too tired, as I bent over the piece slowly
spinning on the wheel in front of me, he would call for a break and he would o ffered me tea and Japanese
sweets. And this was when the conversations began. With his impressive knowledge of both Eastern and Western
culture and history, there was never a moment of dull discourse. From the lms of Ozu, Kurosawa, Naruse,
Mizoguchi to those of Godard, Tru ffaut, Wenders, Jarmusch, from the philosophy of Kuki Shuzo to the existentialism
of Sartre, from the Mingei movement of Shoji Hamada to the opposing visions of ceramists Suzuki
Osamu and Yagi Kazuo pioneers of the Sodeisha Movement, the conversation escalated passionately until it
was time to return to the wheel where in all peace and tranquility, together, we gave the bowl resting upside
down, a final touch of love.
You’ll never find another place like this. I know, I won’t.
Merci Monsieur Hirayama,
Nathalie, New York City.
A letter with a couple of photos from Allen -
Thank you (arigato!) for the 2 days lesson and sharing on Japanese pottery sessions which you have kindly shared much invaluable experiences.
I enjoyed learning about the traditional organic glazes and refined the lifting technique for the Chawan. And our conversations about the art form of pottery and life's lessons.
Pottery Master-Teacher Shigeru San is a thoughtful, patient, humble and very generous preacher and he shares his pottery skills and little secrets. My two days at his Kyoto studio have further fueled my passion to learn and experiment.
I will be back!
Thank you, Shigeru San.
Allen from Singapore
A letter from Nana -
My seven private pottery making classes with Shigeru San was one of the highlights of my three months stay in Kyoto. To me, it was not just an ordinary pottery making class but an amazing life experience of Japanese Zen sprit and attitude.
I was lucky enough to have the pottery making classes in Shigeru San’s traditional Kyoto town house studio, which is a classic and elegant studio with Zen atmosphere. There is a special room for holding proper Japanese tea ceremony in the studio also. I was very privileged to be introduced to the Japanese tea ceremony culture and to evidence Shigeru San’s skillful Japanese tea making in my first class.
Shigeru San is a very modest gentleman with a great dry sense of humour, so I never felt bored learning and making pottery with him. The best part of my pottery making was finding the strong connection between my hands and the clay. To me, it came all very nature with Shigeru San’s guidance and influence.
Shigeru San believes that pottery is made through conversation between humans and nature. I shared the same belief after seven weeks learning and the true amazing thing was my understanding of pottery making has been transformed into a deeper level with the elements of simplicity and grace.
I just want to say a huge 'arigatogozaimashita' to Shigeru San for everything he has taught me in the past seven weeks, which will benefit me for life!
I look forward to continuing my pottery learning with Shigeru San on my return next year!
Nana from Edinburgh, UK