Where Are We – Japan 8 (Watching a glassblower in Japan at work)

Masa is good taking good care of us. We met last November on the Land Cruiser’s Festa in Aso (read about it here) and from the start of our adventure in Japan, he has kept track of our itinerary and connecting us with friends throughout the country.

A glassblower in Japan

As a result we received an invitation to drop by at Peter Ivy’s home, near Toyama. The American has lived in Japan for 15 years and is a professional glass blower. He came to Japan to teach glass blowing at a university in Tokio but when his (ex) wife got a super job opportunity they moved to Toyama. Peter found a combination of being the primary caretaker of their first child while building a glass blowing studio and building his own line of glass work.

Watching the glass blowing process

We sat an afternoon watching as Peter and Itsuka, his partner, created beautiful pieces of art. While art Peter makes functional glass work, such as glasses, plates, glass containers to store rice or pasta, etc.

Watching glass blowing is like watching a campfire. It is mesmerizing, you automatically follow your eyes to each seemingly small yet imperative part of the process. You can see (and order) his work here.

Food & Talks

We spent a couple of pleasant days together. As a fellow Land Cruiser aficionado – Peter owns a BJ46 – there was a fair share of car talk, of course. And when you talk, you need to eat and drink. So we decided to revive our Coleman oven. It had been a while since we had baked bread (here’s how we make it) and Itsuka wanted to learn how to make it.

I prepared hummus with the last chickpeas I had (here’s how I make it) and we had another meal to share with a couple of beers as we sat in front of the oven – which runs at 1100 degrees and thus is not switched off for the night – to keep us warm during the last cold evenings before spring was finally bursting into full bloom.

The days passed too quickly. Peter and Itsuka left for Tokio for the first part of a big exhibition. The second part will take place in Kyoto, 16-22 April, so to those in the area: go check it out! (Find the details here.)

Edited to Add:

Truth be said, this Where Are We is from some 10 days ago. We are having increasingly problems with the website. It is down (too) often and our provider can’t get the problem solved. We are working on a solution and moving the lot to another provider, so hopefully we can soon keep you better updated on our Where Are We moments.

Meanwhile I can add that we’ve seen some stunning sakura – cherry blossom – and, if the website doesn’t let me down, I will upload a series of photos soon. We are getting ready for our annual visit to the Netherlands so our next update will be from there!


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