21 Dec 2009

Hangzhou Trip - December 2009 (Part 1)

Jane and I have just come back from a mini holiday in Hangzhou. 
After Jane's exam on Saturday morning, we rushed to get the high-speed train from S. Shanghai Railway Station.
After checking into the hotel (SSAW - very good), we went for a walk down to the West Lake.. on the way, we found a pick 'n' mix shop and a fantastic pottery shop called SC POTTERY. (link)
SC Pottery is run by a guy who has won lots of awards from around the world for his Pottery design/painting. The idea of the shop is that the customer chooses a piece of white unfinished pottery, and uses the professional pottery paints to customize each piece...

Jane and I decided that we would paint some pottery, for each other and our families.
I chose a spoon and a large mug to customize for Jane as a gift, and she chose a large mug to customize for me.
The staff at SC Pottery are very polite and helpful, and we were given the full range of colours and brush sizes. They would often come to our table upstairs and offer advice along with hot drinking water.
Unfortunately some advice wasnt delivered in time, and I went ahead drawing on the pottery with my Prismacolor blue pencil (which may cause problem when fired).. and I also used my eraser on the pottery (which will definitely cause problems in the kiln). I was only told about this on the second day of painting (after I had finished drawing and erasing!).
On Saturday night at 11.30pm, Jane finished the mug and I finished a spoon - Took way way longer than we expected.

Luke's Catspoon

Above: Sketch of Ami's concave side ... and the finished painting.

Above: Sketch of Baxter's convex side ... and the almost finished painting (no whiskers).

Jane's Fishmug

Above: Jane's work in progress and below.. the finished piece.
The next day, we had breakfast at Coffee Bean in Hangzhou's fashionable new pier area, and then rushed back to SC Pottery so we could get a quick start on the day's painting!
Unfortunately we had a long breakfast which meant that we eventually started painting at 1pm!
We had planned to paint 2 pieces - I would paint a mug as a gift to Jane for Xmas.. and we would both paint a bowl as a gift to someone else.
We needed to get a train back to Shanghai in the evening, so, when by 4pm we had only just sketched the design.. we started to panic and had to paint very fast.
Thankfully, one of the staff at SC Pottery checked the train timetable for us so that we didnt have to stop working.. the last one was about 9.15pm.
Here is the work in progress at 4pm...

As you can see, we had a TON of work to do.. this had taken us 3 hrs!
Before I forget, and if anyone from SC Pottery ever looks at this post (probably not as Blogger is blocked in China) ... please buy more than 10 songs to play in the shop.. We spent roughly 9hrs in the shop over the 2 days.. 10 songs on repeat.. you do the Maths - because I dont want to!!!
Here are more photos of the work in progress...


PART 2 COMING SOON! - in about 10 days when the pottery is fired and posted to me!

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