These are my students' pieces. Thank you, Iva, Dottie, BJ, and Asia, for your enthusiasm. It was a pure delight to share not only creativity, but also laughter and good food in this class. I plan to teach another class like this at Dahl Arts Center next Fall. It will be advertised on EVENTS page of this website and also on Facebook. Please look forward to it.
I've been adding eco-friendly features to my house little by little. This year, I made a laundry pulley over my washer. It not only saves space, but also humidifies the air. As warm air rises, the laundry seems to dry quicker. It is working better than I thought it would be. I'm with a big smile!
Most of my home renovation projects have been completed. I am excited to return to sculpting.
Artworks sometimes manage to find right homes. The sculpture "I Care" certainly did. A couple, bird watchers whose house is located in a bird sanctuary, came to the last American Craft Council show with the intention to find a piece to put in a decorative bird cage (photo). With the lid open, the whole thing signifies more meaning now. "Martha and Co," the wife calls it, is releasing the birds into freedom. I was delighted that a couple, who knew about Martha the last passenger pigeon, acquired this piece. I feel like a mother, whose grown child has just left the nest. Despite my initial worry, I feel reassured that the child will do well in the new home.
Sorry for the dark image, but my booth was well lit. My first American Craft Council Show was utterly exhausting. By the time the show was over, I was speaking in Japanese to an American. My brain seemed to have stopped functioning after being exposed to too many stimuli. It has been a week since the show, and I reflected on the experience. What was the most rewarding to me was the fact that my works managed to provoke profound emotions in people of all ages. For example, when a woman saw SOAR (on the front right of the photo), tears welled up in her eyes. She had never seen a thalidomide survivor portrayed with confidence and hope. An artist, who had liked my works and had asked me intriguing questions, returned to my booth two days later with his wife and a daughter.
I want to reach people's heart with my art. That is my ultimate goal. Business part of the show should not be in the way of my creativity. Deep-breathe, close my eyes, and open the eyes of my heart. People will notice art that has come from the heart. With this lesson in my mind, I will compose new works.
Thank you all for your support.
Making a trundle bed and a closet-and-storage space above it (photo) was a minor project. However, making this 86-year-old house more energy-efficient has been a challenge. So far, the walls, ceiling, and roof deck have been insulated. The windows have low-E coatings and insulated curtains. All the cracks have been filled with Big Stretch caulk. As it has been taking so much of my time, I asked myself how important my principal was and felt like giving it up. As this year's project has been completed, I now feel good about it. After taking a rest, I will probably regain the energy to tackle a new project, which will be to insulate the crawl space and hot water pipes. For now, I'm glad to be back on ceramic works.
This is my third year gardening with permaculture method. As my land is small, I try to be creative with its usage, and polyculture (simultaneous cultivation of several crops) is perfect for it. Despite the cool summer we've been having here in South Dakota, most of my crops are thriving. I just love the sense of ethical living that gardening gives me. The best reward of the time-consuming work is, of course, to live mostly off my garden with no worry over consuming pesticides. Today's lunch will be Indian dal served with freshly harvested potatoes. Yummy!!!
Today I made a clay extruder following a how-to video on Ceramic Arts Daily. As I already had a caulk gun, it cost me less than $5 to make 3 sets of a 8" pipe and a test-cap die. I modified one of the test caps, so that I could insert dies I already had. It was very easy to make. As long as clay is soft it works well.
If you're making one here in Rapid City, only Lowe's carried the particular test caps I was looking for.
Here is how my niece Hoho looks now at Sweet 17. Gary and Bjo Shreirer made a sheet of rice crispy bars specially for her and asked me to hand it to her in Japan. The first video is from Hoho to Gary and Bjo when she received the gift. (Sorry, I did not want to spend too much time editing the clip.)
Hoho is a senior at Osaka High School of Music, training to become an idol. In the following film, you will see her soaring to the height of her dream. It may be a very impractical field, but it is obvious she is enjoying her youth to the fullest.
Keiko Sakakabara's life has never been easy. The 66-year-old retired ranch hand looks forlorn, without a family or a steady income, in this country. Yet, her heart is definitely not lonely. In my last visit to her, I felt reassured that she would manage no matter what. Her simple happiness lies in the circle of friends she has nurtured in the Nebraska Sandhills, in the abundance of garden vegetables, and in her indestructible faith in God's love.
My computer graphic teacher, who has been producing charming illustrations in Paris.
My mentor. His encouragement always boosts my energy.
Jewish Pioneers of the Black Hills Gold Rush
My writing in my portfolio was polished by Ann Haber Stanton, the author of the above book.
Othmar F. Arnold
A radical thinker, whose aspirations are similar to mine.
My Past Photo Albums