Wali Hawes 1952 - 2014
                          pottery and more!

Wali Hawes Potter's Diary

Tokoname Ceramics Festival

From the 26th-27th August the Annual Ceramics Festival was held in Tokoname. I participated in the event exhibiting my work at Gallery Sabai. The festival attracts many people from all over Japan and over the weekend around 250,000 people visit the festival. It is a great event and a brilliant opportunity to catch up with old friends and exchange notes about the previous year. One of the significant comments that I came across from many of the potters there who have been participating over the years was a need for change. Some people with international experience have begun to question the format of the festival and the need to widen interest and to incorporate more events related to a ceramic culture. That selling isn`t the only thing but other things like demonstrations, kiln firings, booths  run by manufacturers of ceramic tools, materials and literature, possibly the need to incorporate a series of films with a ceramic interest and to have exhibitions that run concurrently with the event with more interest. Main reason for this change in attitude has been the overall slump in sales and with it prices. This is also reflected in the number of visitors to the festival. Still, it was great to be with renowned potters such as Masamichi Yoshikawa and his wife Chikako, Uga Kazuko, Senko Yamamoto and the young potters in the Tent Group which was started by Ryojie Koie. The International Workshop of Ceramic Art (IWCAT) had the work of visiting foreign potters and I had an opportunity to speak to some of the foreign potters and also Ishihara-san, president of IWCAT. The building of an International airport in Ise Bay in front of Tokoname is having a major impact whcih is bveing translated into a downsizing of ceramic production and consequently importance of ceramics in this historical city of ceramics. One of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. The festival finished with a great "yakiniku" meal at a restaurant in Handa proving that we can still say "Potters of the World-IGNITE!"


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