week seven: artist in residence at yingge

I had some great opportunities this week to take in a lot of Taiwanese culture. The museum hosted a tea ceremony in the lobby to commemorate acquiring a new tea set by a local artist, which included speeches, lots of reporters and we got to spend a few hours sipping tea out of beautiful celadon cups  while sitting on tatami mats. 

My work is progressing in the studio, I’m waiting to see what the next bisque firing reveals and also trying to very, very, slowly dry that big I shared with you last week. Starting to wrap my head around the technical difficulties of building these fragile pieces is feeling pretty good. 

My students were also excited to move onto the glazing portion of their projects. Next week, I’ll return their finished work and we’ll assemble the group project on site at the school. I’ve really loved being able to head up into the mountains each week and play with clay with this sweet group of kiddos. 

My studio mate Ruth’s cousin got married last weekend and I was invited as her +1. It was pretty incredible to be the only westerner at an event with nearly 500 guests, but everyone was so welcoming and sweet, it was a really wonderful cultural experience. I lost count after the fifth course of food came out, seriously amazing amounts of food were served! I tried new things like jellyfish and black chicken, but there was also a bunch of food I tried and I’m not exactly sure what it was – all was good though!

Over the same weekend, through a series of events , I ended up getting my hair cut. Which doesn’t seem like the sort of thing I’d blog about but when you don’t speak the language, getting your haircut becomes an event. Through translation I found out that my stylist loved my curls but then he promptly flat ironed them right out to tame my new Asian haircut. Also a head, neck & shoulder massage comes with the deal, so it’s a pretty sweet experience.

In addition to all these shenanigans, I’ve also tried to make my way around Taipei seeing the sights. The middle picture below is the impressive Sun Yat Sen Memorial. I happened to be there just at sunset and enjoyed strolling through the park as the bats starting coming out for their nightly rounds.

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