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Barbara takes Inami!

Updated: Sep 29, 2018

US Artist-Ceramist Barbara Allen toughed out the intense summer heat (daily average is 34-36C) in August and visited Inami & Gokayama. It was great pleasure to host her. (Don't be deterred by the summer temperature, this year is just abnormally bad~)

The highlight of the trip was studio visit to see the work of Buddha Sculptor Mr. Yoshisada Ishihara. We got to see clay study models and hear Mr. Ishihara talking about his work process, the time and numerous studies and trials he typically would go through in order to complete the final piece.

The conversation got interesting when Barbara expressed how talent plays an important role in creating something of such beauty, while Yoshi casually brushed on the idea that "anyone can do it, it just takes a life time of learning and a lot of practice". This disparity left Barbara in a state of disbelief. :-) Welcome to the world of "Shokunin" (Japan artisan).

So, what did Barbara brought back from Inami (in addition to the "jaw-dropping" conversation):

Barbara collects charcoal rubbing of man-hole covers and turns them into beautiful collage art.

This is what Barbara bought, available at the wood museum. They are my personal favorite!! These hand-carved clouds are made as Shinto wood altar. It can also be mounted as wall decoration and photo shelf. Super smart design deshou?? Barbara, send us a photo so we can see how you re-invent the use of this cloud shrine back home!

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