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Bonenkai (Forget The End Of The Year Party)

Recently I was fortunate to be invited with Hiroshi Yamano to attend Hiragane Sensei’s Bonenkai or “Forget The End Of The Year Party”. Hiragane sensei is a well known fabric artist and kimono maker who after years in his successful business became involved in the Osaka University of Art. It was Hiragane sensei who spearheaded the idea of adding a glass program to the university and who sought out Hiroshi Yamano to head the OUA Glass Program. Hiragane sensei lives in a traditional Japanese home in urban Osaka in a quiet neighborhood with his wife and daughter. It is not often one is invited into one’s home in Japan so this was a very special experience for me. The dinner was an exceptional feast! Hiragane sensei shared with us a private showing of his work some of it not yet exhibited. The photo of the hanging scroll painted by Hiragane sensei in the living room is the Kanji character “Michi” which means “way” or in this case one’s road in life and I believe this is his trade mark or sign as he also wrote this in a book of his work which he gave to me. This evenings wonderful event brought to mind another Japanese kotowaza “Ichi-go Ichi-e” which means “One Meeting, One Chance” the Japanese version of Carpe Diem or “Seize The Day”. In short this is one forget the end of the year party I’ll always remember.

Osaka University of Art Faculty and Staff

┬áThere is Hiroshi Yamano, Yuki Uchimura, Etsuko Nishi at the top and Tsuyoshi Inoue, Kentaro Senuma, Toshikazu Kobayashi as part time instructors. The Staff here is phenomenal! Risako Yahagi, Ryo Sekino, Shohei Yokoyama and Misako Onishi facilitate everything and make sure the trains run on time! I feel fortunate to be working with such a talented group of artists. It’s an extremely serious pace they all set here but they somehow make it all fun and a really good time! Enjoy their works!

Yuki Uchimura

Etsuko Nishi

Toshikazu Kobayashi

Tsuyoshi Inoue

Kentaro Senuma

Risako Yahagi

Misako Onishi

Ryo Sekino

Shohei Yokoyama

A Day at Osaka Art University

Hiroshi Yamano demonstrates glass blowing and hot glass techniques in this case how to make a stingray. Yuki Uchimura is holding court in the casting studios. Students are working hard and I’ve never before seen such a busy kiln forming studio.

Uchimura’s Court