Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today in the world

I'm taking a break from writing about the past.
Today is too full of troubles.

After all, I woke to find the vase of daffodils on the dining table had been tumped over by the cat, and soaked the table cloth, the oak table, and through it's old cracks dripped onto the carpet which is soaked.  I'm grateful it only had a couple of cups of water in it.

Then it was cold here in the living room at my desk.  After I put a jacket on, turned the thermostat up 10 degrees (to 60) and even covered my legs with a sweater (the floors just have freezing temperatures till the mid afternoon most days)...I was able to see the computer screen against the glare of sunshine through the blinds.

So now I've watched local news, listened to NPR noon news, checked several world news sites, and am currently listening to a podcast of BBC news (from earlier this morning).

It's depressing.  Of course.

But I also read some blogs of potters, including Euan Craig who just evacuated his family from their home, which was damaged by the earthquake in Japan on March 11, and he moved them inland to avoid possible contamination from a nuclear emergency.  Nobody knows how much that crisis will mean to anybody, and there isn't any notification on a regular basis that can be counted upon, apparently.  One of the news stories had to do with this lack of reliable news.  Euan's blog is very moving, and can be read here...

I am among those sending energies through prayer, meditation, psychic or magikal techniques, and every possible way from my being to those who have suffered from the recent earthquake.  I was glad to see the international pottery community is also reaching out to the big Japanese pottery community which has been affected.

(I can't get the following link to work, so here's the entire article about one of the fund raising efforts.)

Handmade for Japan: eBay auction March 18-20 to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  

Handmade For Japan's mission is to raise money through an online auction on March 18-20 for relief efforts to assist the victims of Japan's catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emissions.

Handmade for Japan is an online auction of unique, handmade art donated by concerned, invited artists. One hundred percent of all net proceeds collected via the auction will be donated to the relief efforts in Japan.

Because of the urgency of the situation, the auction will begin on eBay on Friday, March 18th and end on Sunday, March 20th. The auction items will be listed under the "Handmade for Japan" seller ID.

Previews of the auction items will be available in English and Japanese through Facebook pages and Twitter updates. All inquiries in either language should be sent to

Who We Are:
Handmade For Japan was borne out of concern for Japan's residents by Japanese-American ceramic artist Ayumi Horie. She, Ai Kanazawa Cheung, and Kathryn Pombriant Manzella have mobilized to solicit, promote, and auction handmade pieces of art generously donated by talented artists throughout North America and Japan


 (also posted yesterday was this:)

Mashiko Potters need help

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 (from Hannah McAndrew's blog)

The Leach Pottery's Hand to Mashiko
The following has been sent out by The Leach Pottery in St Ives in response to the effect of the horrendous events in recent days on the pottery industry. This first link of mine is to the Red Cross appeal which of course helps with the more immediate and pressing needs.

The Leach Pottery says:
The trustees and staff of the Leach Pottery would like to express our great sadness at the recent catastrophe that has beset Japan. The Leach Pottery’s historic and current links to Japan, dating back over a century, are of great importance to us and the friendship we have received from the Japanese people over the years has been unwavering. We have not forgotten the support we received from the people of Mashiko pottery village and members of the Mingei Association in 2008 when individuals collectively donated over £40,000 towards rebuilding our pottery in St Ives and we would like to offer them back the hand of friendship now.

We are launching an appeal to raise funds for Mashiko which has been badly hit by the earthquake. Mashiko has over 400 studios and kilns, providing the main livelihood of the village, and the recent quake has caused considerable damage to both kilns and buildings. Mashiko’s two main museums, the Mashiko Ceramics Museum and the Hamada Reference Museum have also been badly hit.

Mashiko Town in Tochigi prefecture is located about 60 miles north of Tokyo. In 1923 Shoji Hamada, co-founder of the Leach Pottery in St Ives with Bernard Leach, returned to Japan following the Tokyo earthquake of 1923. He settled in Mashiko with his family where he set up his own pottery, now owned and run by his potter grandson Tomoo Hamada, who attended the reopening of the Leach Pottery following its restoration in March 2008. Shoji Hamada also established the Hamada Reference Museum in Mashiko to display his stunning and internationally acclaimed collection of crafts and ceramics.


You can donate to the Leach Pottery’s Mashiko Earthquake Appeal in any of the following ways:
By phone – call with you credit or debit card details on 01736 799703

By post – send a cheque to the Bernard Leach (St Ives) Trust Ltd. (marking the back of the cheque ‘Mashiko Appeal’. Send to Mashiko Earthquake Appeal, The Leach Pottery, Higher Stennack, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 2HE

By internet – donate through your Paypal account – please add a note clearly stating ‘Mashiko Earthquake Appeal’

If you are a UK taxpayer you can Gift Aid your donation by including the following information: Your name, address and postcode and confirmation that you wish the Leach Pottery to treat your donation as a Gift Aid donation. This simple act will allow us to claim a further 25p for each £1 donated towards the appeal.


So my inner potter is touched deeply by these efforts to help our brothers and sisters in Japan.  My little vase of flowers which fell over is such a trivial concern.  I have not got the imagination (and I'm a creative artist!) to comprehend the enormity of suffering in Japan.  I can only hold my heart and send whatever energies I can to those sweet souls.



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Thanks for making this a more personal connection by saying what you think. I'll post your comments for others to see soon!