Japan is filled with towns that specialize in hand made pottery. I have potter friends that make their living from making and selling the works of their labor, there are loads of small shops that sell pottery along with other things like coffee, clothing, etc. Housewives who are especially good at cooking will have an amazing collection of different shapes and sizes of pottery.
Yesterday there was a pottery festival at a park in the next prefecture over and Tetsu suggested we drive out. Let me tell you, we do NOT need any more pottery. For one I never make anything worthy of its loveliness, for another in more than thirty years of living in Japan (and living near the famous pottery town of Mashiko) I've got my own humble but plentiful collection of pottery. But we made the trip out and had a good time. Tetsu and I wandered around the stalls (sort of like a street fair) and decided we'd buy one or two pieces to celebrate the new year.
This was dish that I found. At first I thought it was just an interesting pattern on the dish but I realized after looking at it a bit that the design says "Happiness" in Chinese characters... Oh my... I think I could do that design in wonky patchwork. Do I dare try?
Because it was the New Year, some of the stalls were offering combination sets and so after a couple of hours of perusing we settled on a coffee cup set. Now, what is my criteria for buying pottery? (for buying anything?) It has to be unusual... I'd prefer thinking that I have a one of a kind thing or at least that I'm not going to walk into the nearest department store and find the same thing there (that's why I like street fairs). It can't be expensive. I'm thrifty if nothing else! It has to make me smile. Especially something like a morning coffee cup. If I'm going to stumble through a morning I want something that cheers me.
So this morning Tetsu and I drank our morning coffee and ate our New Year's omochi with our new coffee mug set. Two colorful mugs, two small bowls and a large serving dish. The pretty pottery made everything more delicious this morning! (let's see... on the serving dish is the omochi and butter and in the small bowls are bean paste and the orange stuff is sweet potato and chestnut paste. There is some soy powder in another of our pottery.)
And here is another purchase that definitely makes me smile! Now, that's not very practical but it will fit into our house very nicely. A cat bowl!!! How will I use it... I don't know... A candy dish (as if I need any more candy).
Tetsu is back at work today. He may need a Starbucks later on today from a loving wife to take the sting out of such a short holiday.