Almost time to say good bye
My last couple of days of my residency have arrived. What a wonderful, amazing, enriching time I have had. All that remains now is to pack up my work and getting it ready to ship to Los Angeles. Brian and I are sharing a crate. Once the crate arrives I will take photos and put them on my website so that you can see some of what I have been working on.
As I am writing this I am bundled up in bed wearing my warm robe, and I am intending to wear it during the night as well. It is freezing cold, and the houses and heating systems are not made for that, although freezing winters are the norm. This afternoon when I went to buy packing material I saw shop keepers sitting in their unheated shops with open doors. People wear lots of warm clothes and wooly hats, and go about their business. You can tell that they are cold but they seem to accept that.
I was not prepared for this drop in temperature, and I bought a fuzzy hat and scarf so that I am ready for Shanghai which is even colder. Now is also the time when the stray dog mutts start to disappear and end up on someone’s table. Already there are two that I have not seen in a couple of days.
Despite working hard we also have been playing. Gus joined us a couple of weeks ago from Australia, and we all get along great. A bit over a week ago we had dinner at a local restaurant and then a bit too much plum wine, and we ended up dancing up a storm, just silly and fun and very much alive. It was brilliant as Simon from Wales would say.
We also did some excursions, one to a big pot shop where two workers simultaneously throw a pot. It is fascinating to watch. One 6 foot vase is made from seven segments, and every segment is made from 120 kilos, over 250 pounds. The two men make 14 big vases a day, you do the math!
I also did a day trip to two historical villages which were centered around the mining of Kaolin back when. Kaolin is the main ingredient of porcelain. I have to say that the funeral procession that we happened to witness that day was equally fascinating, and the blessing that I received in a Buddhist temple when I wandered through the small streets was wonderful.
One more memory that I will treasure: After giving a talk at the education center about my work a few weeks ago a Chinese family invited me to their home for dinner. It was such an honor to get an insight into a modern day Chinese home and family.
I am so happy that I came to Jingdezhen. This experience has changed me, and it will definitely influence and change my work. Thank you for taking part in my journey.