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CARVING The Future in Ceramics

GuilhermeFerias Ceramics

I am a potter/ceramist living in Portugal, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Alentejo region near Alqueva lake. 

Monsaraz and Alqueva Lake

My contact with ceramics start early in my boyhood with earthware ceramics. From what I can remember what attract me most was the kiln fire, in those times still using wood. Later almost all potters changed to gas kiln. I think today that was the repetition of pieces, always the same format by all potters, year after year, that never engage me doing earthware profissionaly.

Some years ago I discovered  wood kilns by readings about Japanese and Korean potters. What first strikes me was the aesthetic design of the ceramic piece but, above all, the daily use of that piece. They always aspire to joint art and function. That was something quite different from what I was used to know from my friends potters.

I begin learning ceramics chemistry with help of some well known ceramists, Tony Hansen , John Britt, Simon Leach. I also learn wheel thrown with a long time friend, who is also a master potter in earthware pottery, Mestre Tavares, based in São Pedro do Corval, near Reguengos de Monsaraz, my home town. In the last two years I have been testing glazes and clay bodies and developing one technique based in carved pieces, without the potter wheel.

All my pieces and glazes are handmade by me and I try to incorporate raw materials from nature, like rocks, clay and ashes.

I hope you enjoy my work!

Craftsman Spirit

Five elements of Artisan Mastery

There are many lessons for Mastery, but we will focus here on five main points.

A  true master at his art sets the standard for self-discipline, always looking ahead, never satisfied with his work, always trying to find ways to make better, or to improve his skills.
Five elements of Mastery

There are many lessons, but we will focus here on five main points

Majime (真面目). A true master is serious about the art. He or she strives for the highest level possible always. The commitment to hard work is strong. The level of dedication is constant.

Kojoshin (向上心). Always aspire to improve oneself and one’s work. There is an old Zen adage that says once you think you have arrived, you have already begun your descent.

Seiketsukan (清潔感). Cleanliness, freshness. One can not prepare and perform well if the environment is cluttered, messy, or dirty.

Ganko (頑固). Stubbornness, obstinacy. The fourth attribute is…Impatience. Be an individualist in pursuit of excellence rather than a team player in search of consensus. This does not mean not rely on his team or listen to them, but his team is hand picked and trained by him. In the end it is his vision and his responsibility.

Jyonetsu (情熱). Passion, enthusiasm. From the very first moments Once you decide on your occupation…you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success…and is the key to being regarded honorably.

No passion, no art.

Guilherme Ferias Ceramics

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WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SHOKUNIN

tasioodate

The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.

Toshio Odate

First blog post

I’ve set the 01/October 2016 for the beginning of this adventure in ceramic.

FIRST FIRE: first fire and first damage. I’ve lost all the pieces for catalogue purpose. I’ve to rescue some test pieces I ‘ve made some weeks ago.

Some iron and ash glazes et voilá. I called “Iron & ash” because that was the two main elements in the pieces.