Bizen Ware Keshiki

Japanese Bizen ware Tea kettle. It is Reddish Green Brown pottery covered with a light brown and Ash glaze. With the potters mark.

Bizen; Keshiki, or in English view/landscape, refers to the different effects that form on the surface of Bizen ceramics during the firing in the kiln. This tea pot is one of the most common Keshiki to look out for, but Hi-Iro, pictured above; I think is one of the best of the many in the Bizen-Yaki has to offer in the Bizen Ware category;

Hi-iro, Meaning is “flame color”. Colors such as striking bright red or reddish-brown coat areas of the ceramics.

Aobizen

Ao means blue. A beautiful, yet subtle shade of blue dons the surface of the ceramics.

Botamochi

The shape and color look similar to the Japanese rice cake called botamochi, hence the naming.

Goma

Looks like a sprinkling of sesame seeds on the surface of the ceramics. Sesame seeds are known as goma in Japanese, hence the naming.

Hidasuki

Eye catching red scorch markings created during firing due to the clay being wrapped in straw.

Hi-iro

Meaning is “flame color”. Colors such as striking bright red or reddish-brown coat areas of the ceramics.

Kasegoma

A very desirable keshiki. The clay takes on a “crusty” texture. Usually a gray/silvery color.

Sangiri

Quite a varying array of colors, textures, and patches over the surface of the clay caused in the kiln during firing. One of the major keshiki and one that can give a Bizen piece an absolutely fantastic view/landscape.

Shiso-iro

a beautiful purple tone that resembles the leaf color of the perilla plant known as Shiso in Japanese. Iro simply means color.

Kinsai

Kin means gold in Japanese. Basically the surface of the clay takes on a gold color. Naturally a very sort after Keshiki!

Ishihaze

Small cracks that form around tiny stones that are used in the clay to create a desirable rough finish. The cracks are caused during drying and firing when the clay starts to shrink. The tiny stones don’t shrink, so sometimes they cause the clay to crack open around them.

This is regularly seen as a flaw in the western world, but is truly seen as aesthetic in Japan, and is dearly loved and prized for adding natural beauty to ceramics!

Sadler Blue Willow

This is a vintage ginger jar, tea caddy is decorated with a Chinoiserie, Blue Willow pattern. The underside is stamped “Sadler England” and would date to the 1930s.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/littlebitoftexasinswansea/

Tea Ceremony

The Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is called Chanoyu, Sado or simply Ocha in Japanese.

It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea.

Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the pottery and into each predefined movement. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart.

The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guests view point (angle), especially the main guests called the Shokyaku.

Minimalist Buddha

We found this Buddha sculpture In Swansea the other day. I didn’t really know what kind of Buddha it was, but something spoke to me to take it home.

This minimalist beautiful art figurine depicts a Zen Buddha sitting in meditation. The artist utilises a unique design that suggests meditation, as the heart and mind rise above the loins. Hand-carved from suar wood.

The Buddha sits in meditation with no focus on the details of the eyes, nose and mouth. It was designed a detail-less which adds to the magic of the whole.

You can place a Buddha wherever it can be noticed by the eyes of another; it’s calming and serene. Often it will allow for holistic sensations and hence praise is bound to be received by you.

To me, a Zen Buddha is serene every which way you look at it. It’s very beautiful; one of the most extraordinary I’ve found so far.

Zen traces its origins to India but it was formalized in China. Chan, as it is known in China, was transmitted to Japan and took root there in the thirteenth century.

Chan was enthusiastically received in Japan, especially by the Samurai that wielded political power at this time, and it became the most prominent form of Buddhism between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The immigrant Chinese prelates were educated men, who introduced not only religious practices but also Chinese literature, art, sculpture, calligraphy, philosophy, and ink painting to their Japanese disciples, who often in turn traveled to China for further study.

The Garden


We talk and in conversations where I take everything in. We talk about everything; sometimes all night and then there are days, when we are just content to be together. 

I love our walks through the park with the dogs. They take us through the flowering trees in the botanical gardens. I think about how much happiness this garden has brought to many.  


There I consider how much the trees towers over us. I love how rough the bark feels under my touch. How they flower and thrive even in the most extreme weather. How the boughs of blossoms stretch out over our heads as it begins to rain; the trees sheltering us from the sudden bursts. How they can stand there; to be still and silent, with the calmness of one; This garden is over a hundred years old. They have seen the way of the world. 


I look and wonder how much this garden has seen, and I think about all the ones who have come and gone; only to adorn it’s beauty. The life of these flowers has survived the years. It’s astonishing how seen the lives and how many moments have been played out around them. Life, loves and all the tears, the laughter and even the poets sitting near them as they write, pondering their next line, the next simile, or the next metaphor.


There is something about the calm and quietness about this garden that makes me feel safe and comforted. Maybe it’s just the way the flowers reach out for attention that is so comforting.  


These words are just some of my thoughts well sanded maybe repetitive; perhaps to be put away into a jar a collection of memories. I will always cherish our walks and talks in this garden and in this park and sharing feelings. Its when held to the eye and we can look and listen; appreciating that right here in Wales that I find there are so many colours for everything and some things don’t change and I’m grateful for being right here with you in this garden. I love that!

River Einion

A Waterfall
On the River Einion
There, the Dyfi Furnace remains
Where the waters once raced
To a mill from the top
With all its power
Leading to this waterwheel
Taking advantage of the powers
Of this river
From Cumbria via the Afon Dyfi
Where charcoal was once produced
Long ago from the local woodlands,
Where iron ore once burned;
But burns no more.

The Dyfi Furnace is in the village of Furnace, Ceredigion, Wales, adjoining the A487 trunk road from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth, near Eglwysfach.
The furnace was built around 1755 was only used for about fifty years to smelt iron ore. By 1810 coal burning had been abandoned. Today it remains a Grade II Building.

Yellow Daffodil


To imagine nature

When Spring finally awakens

In the yellow daffodil flower. 

It is the anticipation 

Of Summer’s hour

Which blossoms

Within me.