Jiajing Gao: Pottery Class

For my CIP, I took a pottery class at a studio called Zuikougama, near Higashiyamananajo. I went every Saturday and stayed for about three hours each class. The ceramic classes were run very differently in Japan comparing to America. The ceramic class I took at Boston University looked at ceramic from an architectural point of view. Therefore, taking a real pottery class in Japan was a very nice experience for me.

The studio was well organized in a very nice environment. In total, there were about 15 students in the class, and most of the people were elderlies who were very professional. The studio provided tools, glaze and clay, so that I never had to carry things around, and the classroom was setup in a convenient way. The teachers were patient, and they were always available for questions.

For me, the hardest part was the first class when the teacher explained the steps people followed in order to finish a piece. Language barrier was limiting me to be more creative with my projects because I could not fully express myself. However, the class gave students a lot of freedom to do what they liked. In terms of Japanese practice, it was little hard to do during the classes. Because most of people were elderlies, topics were limited, and as a pottery class, the environment was meant to be quiet, starting a conversation was only appropriate at certain times.

I have enjoyed spending my Saturday mornings doing pottery at Zuikougama, and if anyone is interested in Japanese pottery, I recommend taking this class as your CIP.

4 thoughts on “Jiajing Gao: Pottery Class

  1. Your CIP sounds like it went very well! Beyond the teachers being patient and available for questions, how else do you feel like they influenced your experience? Did they seem to treat you differently at all? What was their feedback like when you made something they liked, versus when you made something they didn’t like? Were the teachers different from each other in any ways?

    • Thank you for your comment Andrew !
      In terms of how the teacher reacted to my questions, one thing I didn’t like was that they tried to give me a simplified and short answer to my questions due to the language problem. This limited me to be more creative with my projects because I didn’t get better advice from the teachers.

  2. Sounds like you really enjoyed your CIP. Given your academic background in architecture, I’m sure the pottery class has been a great complementary experience to your current interest in architecture and design.

    It seems like you fit in quite well with other members in the pottery class. Would you mind sharing with us about how you managed to get along so well with the elderlies in your class?

    • Thanks for your comment Jason!

      The people in the class were very professional, but I was still struggling with basic skills. So, most of our conversation started with them trying to help me with my projects. Because of the age gap, it was ok to ask them for help, but it was true that talking about other topics was hard to do with the elderlies.