Lee Middleman will host a woodfiring event in Aomori, Japan (September 17 to October 8, 2023) accompanied by 2 American and Canadian potters: ACGA members Miki Shim-Rutter and Chelsea Fried and Alan Lacovesty. Lee has participated and organized over 10 such events since 2004.
Beginning 2002, over 130 ceramic artists and potters from around the world have been selected to participate in similar woodfire programs at Kanayama. The program ended in 2012. The program focused on the exchange of techniques and ideas about ceramic art and wood fire. By working together and freely sharing information, the sponsors encouraged mutual understanding and cooperation among potters throughout the world. Lee hopes this mini-program revives the tradition.
They will also explore the Jōmon ceramic history and Aomori culture. The Jōmon pottery (縄文土器, Jōmon doki) is a type of ancient earthenware pottery which was made during Jomon period (c. 14,000 and 300 BC) in Japan. . The term “Jōmon” (縄文) means “rope-patterned” in Japanese, describing the patterns that are pressed into the clay. Fragments have been dated as early as 14,500 BCE.
This is Lee’s first return trip to Japan since Covid interrupted his strong interest in exploring Japanese ceramics and culture. He will post activities and results on social media.