It becomes two months soon on that day. The season comes round as if nothing had happened, and the flowers are in full bloom in our garden. The petals of the wild cherry tree begins to scatter like snowing, it means the last chapter in spring here.
-Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi

Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi are working towards rebuilding their studio. In that light they have uploaded photos of many of their works for sale to their website Proceeds will be used to fund the rebuilding. They report, “the builder started constructing several days ago.  They said that they have difficulty to obtain the necessary materials because many production plants also received serious damages by the tsunami, so that the completion of the studio is delayed more greatly than the schedule. We will work over the idea of the work while enjoying gardening for a while.”

Meanwhile, over in Mashiko, there was a great turnout for the annual spring pottery festival. Although about 20% fewer people attended than last year, it was still many more than predicted and visitors were buying strongly. “I felt many customers came and bought our works to cheer us up, ” said Tomoo Hamada, and “by the autumn pottery fair, well-heeled potteries here will have rebuilt their kilns.” The Mashiko Pottery Fund is still taking donations and the money raised will be crucial to getting the kilns going again.

I had the pleasure of meeting potter Ken Matsuzaki at the Mashiko group exhibition at Gallery St. Ives last month. Here you can see him standing where his kiln used to be after cleaning the broken mess from the earthquake. This is where he will rebuild it.

And this is his pile of broken shards…

Gallery St. Ives currently has an exhibition of work by Clive Bowen and Masaaki Shibata running until the 22nd of May. More information and photos can be found on their Facebook page.

Artist Lisa George of PaperGlueBamboo has been doing her share to help, donating 100% of all proceeds from sales of her ikkanbari and Tsukiji shopping baskets to the Red Cross and All Hands.

Unfortunately, she won’t be visiting Japan this spring, so online orders are the way to go. Shipping in the USA is easy and there is still time to have things arrive here in Japan for sayonara parties. Visit her Etsy shop and remember all proceeds are being donated to Japan relief charities. And the big news is that it looks like she may be returning to Japan in the autumn!

I had meant this post to be published on the 11th of May, but I have been waiting for more updated information. Please excuse the delay.

Related Posts:
Shattered Glass…A Small Tribute to the Work of Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi
After the Earthquake…Help Rebuild the Kilns at Mashiko
Artist Spotlight…Lisa George and the Modern Art of Ikkanbari at PaperGlueBamboo

Image credits: 1 & 2. via Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi, 3. via mohri63,  4 & 5. Ayumi Horie, 6. Lisa George