Saturday, 13 September 2008

Since leaving on the seventh I have fn a lot of hours, stayed in Shanghai for a few days, and taken a 16 hour train ride to Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute.  1.5 million people live here in this town.  I think that is a normal thing too because there are so many people in China it is just ridiculous.  There were miles and miles of twelve story apartments on the train ride.  The air and land is very polluted.  I am used to it now, but when I first arrived it seemed so bad I felt disgusting when I went outside.  This was especially true in Shanghai.  We passed loads of factories like Shimano is one that sticks out to me.  The people here are very nice and will do almost anything to help you in any situation.  I have eaten very well since I have been here too.  The food is spicy in this area, and I like it very much.  Lots of rice and noodles around and abundant.  We were taken to the studio and introduced to the Jingdezhen porcelain.  It is probably the hardest clay to work with ever.  It is soft like butter and everything collapses.  To get it to be tall is quite a challenge.  I have made a few tea bowls, and some small jars so far.  I have also worked with  the "master thrower" who is the man.  He is there to show us the best way to use this type of clay and I have worked with him as much as possible.  His wheel is on the floor, he does not speak english, and the clay is so soft it is just horrible.  I struggle most all of the time.  I have messed up 85% of the pieces I am making, but can see improvement from this one day to day.  here are some pictures

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