Feeding the Dragon


ApprenticeMy future father-in-law’s main hobby is Japanese pottery. We enjoyed a little time together during Golden Week by spending eight hours feeding split wood into a kiln. Here are a couple photos of him and me crouching in front of the mouth.

MasterThe rock stairs on either side are valued at over a thousand dollars each. They are taken from old homes and gardens that are being torn down for modernization. It’s a shame that such beautiful items are now becoming trash to be hauled away. On the bright side, we work in one of the most luxurious kilns in Japan.

Crack in Dragon's DoorHere are a couple shots of the fire itself. Temperatures are around 1250 Celcius during the main phase of firing the kiln. Feeding the DragonOnce one adjusts to the intensity of the heat, and the brightness of the flames, they can be hypnotized by the fire twisting and dancing around in the maelstrom.

I need to learn how to force the camera settings in extreme conditions if I hope to capture the fascinating shapes of the flames.


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6 Responses to “Feeding the Dragon”

  1. Stefanie Says:

    Very cool. Does your father-in-law own the kiln or is this a public place you can go and fire pottery?

  2. verbivore Says:

    Such great photos! And I think your father-in-law looks wonderfully friendly. This must have been a fun day and I’m sure he appreciated your help and attention.

  3. びっくり Says:

    Stefanie – he is a member of a small circle. One member is the owner/builder of two kilns. They now fire twice a year and most of the works are the owner’s. He is semi-professional. Because I was helping man the kiln, he gave dad a preferential location in the kiln and his works were lovely.

    Verbivore – he is a very stern and severe man according to many, but I often see his joyful, warm side. I hope to make him happy for many decades to come. Indeed it was a good bonding experience for us.

  4. verbivore Says:

    In-law relationships can be tricky, even when both parties are willing to make an effort. I know from experience that bi-cultural marriages can involve some extra complications. I’m quite certain you will make your father-in-law happy, and you’ll both enjoy the relationship as it develops.

  5. びっくり Says:

    Everytime I meet him, I am ever aware of weaknesses in my Japanese skills. Also, he has his difficult points; however, we are bonding pretty well. I believe this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

  6. titus2woman Says:

    Such INCREDIBLE pics!!! For what it’s worth, my in-loves are my very, very favorite people in all the world! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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