I went to Mashiko Toukiichi (Tochigi pref.) by using an expressway bus. You can take this bus from Akihabara station in Tokyo.
The rice field filled with water, and the fresh green is dazzling.
There are many shops or tents selling potteries and you can talk with artists or local potters directly.
There are also freshly-harvested vegetables grown in Mashiko and some other regional goodies.
I look around several places at a quick pace mainly in potters.
遺跡広場 Iseki Hiroba
It is the perfect place to having the season of new green leaves with lovely potteries and delicious foods!
Spring Pottery Fair in Mashiko
Date : April 26(Sat.) – May 6, 2014 (Tue.)
Place : At many places in Mashiko (mainly in Jonaizaka and Sayado area)
Time : 9:00 – 17:00
It’s a very thick sauce with nut and olive oil.
葉野菜 何でも 春キャベツ、ロメインレタス、ブロッコリー、アスパラガスなどなど
＊Plates(except sandwich): By Kousuke Teramura (Mashiko ware)
~Chicken Salad with Mint sauce~
One chicken breast half
1 tbsp. Madeira wine
4 shiitake mushroom
One clove of garlic (cut garlic into slices)
Any kinds of vegetables for this salad (cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, etc.)
1-2 tbsp. Nut (any kind of nut :D)
A handful of mint leaves (keep some of them for topping)
1/2 tsp. salt and pinch of pepper
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
① Make a cut in chicken and flatten out. Season with salt and pepper.
② Heat the extra oil in a frying pan and add the garlic, and remove it from the pan when its aroma is released and turns golden brown.
③ Add shiitake mushroom to the pan② and brown them.
④ Add chicken to ③ and fry them. Throw in the Madeira wine, covering with a lid as quickly as you can to keep the steam in. Leave them to steam until cooked.
⑥ Cut the cooked chicken into slices.
⑦ Put the ingredients for the mint sauce in a food processor and pulse until well-blended – mixing in the order listed above.
Tear the salad leaves, wash and drain. Cook vegetables in boiling water if need.
⑧ Arrange the salad leaves or other vegetables and shiitake mushroom on a plate, place the sliced chicken on top and dress with the mint sauce, sprinkle with mint leaves, crashed garlic and freshly ground black pepper.
＊ Mint sauce can be use for cracker, pasta or chicken sandwich.
It is the middle of April, but bit chilly in Tokyo..
I went to the supermarket today and I was so surprised that a store staff said, “it was the cold day and it seemed to snow”.
No…it was not so “cold”.
Anyway, I made a mini-sukiyaki with a lot of ginger in it. I love “atsuage” (deep-fried tofu) in sukiyaki!
Chilly is not bad to eat hot food like sukiyaki. I wouldn’t think that I want to eat them in midsummer, though.
Spring is here on the table!
You can find many seasonal foods at the super market now in Tokyo.
I love bamboo shoot! I preparerd “Spring shabu-shabu nabe (a pot dish)” for the dinner with my friend.
Another seasonal ingredient, “inada” (yellow tail) and various seasonal vegetables cooked in a brass pot.
I think any seasonal ingredients in your country will be OK for this nabe.
I used bamboo shoot, wakame seaweed, white-celery, Japanese honewort, Japanese pepper leaves and sliced yellow tail.
Sprinkle shichimi togarashi (a mixture of red cayenne pepper) or add yuzu pepper if you like.
Enjoy the spring with delicious seasonal foods!
Interviewed a potter, Yuko Hiramatsu based in Itako city.
Born in Itako City, Ibaraki prefecture
1995 Graduated from Toho University (Department of Pharmacy)
2004 Graduated from Aichi Prefectural Seto Pottery Senior High School Advanced Course
2005 Win a prize at the Craft Competition in Takaoka
2006 Participated in the “Five Potter Exhibition” at Gallery Yugen (Ginza, Tokyo)
2007 Participated in the “Woman’s Clay Art” at Ginza AC Gallery,
“AKARI Exhibition~Pottery and Picture” （Kashima City, Ibaraki Pref.)
2008 Participated in the “home~Pottery and Picture” (Kashima City, Ibaraki Pref.)
2008～13 Participated in the “Oshaberi na art exhibition” at Gallery Yugen (Ginza, Tokyo)
2008‘10’11‘12 “Pottery・Porcelain Exhibition” at Gallery Yugen (Ginza, Tokyo)
Here is the latest exhibition information which is going to hold from April 14, 2014.
“Pottery・Porcelain・Glass Exhibition” at Gallery Yugen (Ginza, Tokyo)
April 14 (Mon.) – 26(Sat.), 2014
11:00 – 19:00（Until 16:00 on the last day)
Closed on April 20
*Click here for LOCCA Online Store
-Please tell me what made you start pottery.
I attended the tea ceremony lesson when I was in university and interested in pottery. My parents took me to the Pottery Fair in Mashiko and that also made me interested in pottery.
After I graduated from the university, I was working at the hospital as a pharmacist. I heard that my colleague’s friend was teaching pottery and I began to take that class at night. I got into the pottery there!
And what you made you study pottery more?
I am satisfied with my work as a pharmacist but I began to think should I try to learn something new that I’m interested in.
I started to search how can I learn pottery and I found a public school which can be learned pottery from basics.
So I entered Aichi Prefectural Seto Pottery Senior High School Advanced Course and studied pottery for two years.
Did you find easily what you want to make while you were in that school?
No, it was not so easy. I worked through many curriculums at school and went to see many pottery exhibitions there. And I was found what I want to make little by little. Besides, I didn’t know how to make the glaze until I learned the Seger Formula* at school. It was really good to know such a useful thing and easy to understand for me.
*Seger formula…A German ceramist, Hermann Seger, developed Seger formula for the composition of glazes according to the number of different oxides in the glaze in 1886.
Do you remember when did you decide to make porcelain?
I was using porcelain clay at school and I liked to use porcelain staff. I also thought the porcelain suit my personality.
Porcelain clay from Seto
You are making matte series. Could you tell me the process of that?
Mold it with a potter’s wheel and make biscuit firing. After the biscuit firing, roughed the surface with sandpaper. Glaze them and glost firing. It is very important to make the rough surface smooth for theses matte series.
-What kind of things will you care while you are working?
I think that the porcelain has an image making bulk production. So I trying to add a hand-made feel like a pottery.
I do not like too much fancy design. I want to make with mature shape and soft but spindly design.
Glazes on the shelf.
-It is not quite as simple but is difficult point different from pottery and porcelain in making process?
I have experiences both pottery and porcelain. I think that porcelain will be more difficult to mold because they are really hard and difficult to roll out the clay. Very hard to remain their shape. Especially, it will be hard to planarize the surface of the plate.
Furthermore, pottery’s clay can be reuse after kneading with water. Porcelain’s clay also can be reuse in the ame way but sometime appear bubbles. And those are beyond selling in that case. So there is much loss in porcelain.
-What kind of things would you want to make in the future?
I continuously want to make eating utensils and want to try some colored glaze!
Testing many kinds of glaze using Seger glaze formula.