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Hello from Wilton, New Hampshire, USA

Started by JBaymore, June 29, 2010, 10:51:47 AM

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Hi all.  I'm very glad I found this forum.  I look forward to learning a lot here from you all.  I already have from just starting reading some of the existing threads.

I am a professional ceramic artist and adjunct professor of ceramics with a long term interest in Japan and Japanese arts and culture.  I yeach studio ceramics classes as well as a "History of Japanese Ceramics" course.  I make Chadogu, cook a lot of Japanese type foods, study Iaido, and am a very casual practitioner of Chanoyu.  I speak survival ???? Over the years I've spent a bit of time in Japan making pots, exhibiting, and building wood fired kilns.  My work is in a few public collections over there.

I have a small (about 30-40 feet by about 70-80 feet) Japanese-style (a deliberate distinction there) garden in front of my home and studio, and a 4 1/2 matt washitsu heya in a section of my house that faces onto the garden area. 

The distinction above is because I have no formal training in the garden art form, and I have followed my "gut" more than the formal rules of garden design.  I've used a few books for reference, but have not tied myself too tightly to any one "style".  It is far more my own interprestation of Japanese design sense.

Look forward to meeting you all.




Welcome to the forum John. What part of the world do you reside in and what style of iaidou do you practice?


welcome John!

can you post some pictures about your garden and your ceramic work too?



Welcome John and I second Andrea's request.  We would love for you to share your work with us.



Welcome to the forum John.
Obviously you have a lot of interesting parts of your work ( or way of life ) to share with rest of us.
I'm looking forward to see pictures you will post and to learn something new.



June 30, 2010, 09:33:21 AM #5 Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 09:35:31 AM by JBaymore
Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

Steve....... I practice Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido.  Belong to Doshikai Dojo.  Iai is long.... life is short.  I'm not very skilled yet.  

And I'm in Wilton, New Hampshire.  (Growing Zone 4-5.)

The garden area at the moment is going thru some major repairs.  We had some major construction done on the section of the house that is adjacent to the garden...... and a bunch of the garden area got totally destroyed from some heavy equipment that had to get in there and dig.  Then immediately after that building work was done..... I then spent the next two full summers living and making pots in Japan.... so I was not able to fully repair that damage...... and things got "out of hand".   That is the "down-side".  

The "up-side" is that I get to do some stuff over.... hopefully better.  I'm not heading back to Japan this summer.... so the garden is on the top of the to-do list.

One nice touch out of all the destruction is that I saved some of the huge hand cut granite block slabs (about 18" wide, 12" thick and 5' to 7' long) that formed the original foundation under the part of the hose that was totally removed, and had the work crews place them in position to help form a walkway.  I am now combining them with rounded river stones from the Souhegan River that wraps around the back of our property.  

So I'm using indigenous materials when and where I can.  New Hampshire is "The Granite State"........so granite will figure heavily in the work.

I'll post pictures of the garden and my claywork at some point.




Hi John,

Welcome, we have enjoyed the granite state on several visits, mostly in the Franconia notch area.  The streams are magnificent, but brisk.

Sounds as if you have the right materials for an excellent nobedan path.  I'd enjoy seeing photos as you go.

Judo has been my interest, but alas, dormant at this phase of my life.

My daughter would enjoy learning of your ceramic work. Do you have a website?

Wishing you joy in your garden,



July 04, 2010, 10:01:38 AM #7 Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 10:09:29 AM by JBaymore
Here is a picture of the re-setting of the stepping stones running from near the gate to the tsukubai.  Almost all of the stone in the garden is from my property.  A bit of the cut granite is from a quarry a couple of miles away.  As I mentioned I saved the large granite foundation slabs from under the house for the walkway... so that is from my property too  ;).

My property is old river bottom (geologic time) and the Souhegan River still wraps around part of it..... so the rounded stepping stones are in great supply.  All I need is a wheelbarrow and some muscle.

The tsukubai area of the garden seen here is about 15-17 years old with a couple of mature rododendrons and a couple of dwarfed native pines.  As I said... a lot of the garden was destroyed in necessary construction work..... so this is a lot of repair work.  It is nice to see it taking shape again.




I scanned some of the plan from Kumamoto En walkways.  They are based directly on the walks in Katsura Rikyu in Kyoto.  I intended to write an article for the JGO resource, but with such access to granite, i thought the plan would be timely. I will post a link to it under Stones & Gravel in the main forum area.


Got the walkway finished with the large granite slabs from the old house foundation combined with smaller rounded river stones from my property.  There are also a few black polished small stones set into the walkway in a few scattered places .... that pick up the theme of the same stones that are located in the floor that forms the entryway to the washitsu heya that is located at the end of that walkway.

Of course I picked a day that was about 100F to hand mix the concrete in the hot sun.  (What else is new!  :D)




The garden got its first coating of snow today, completely changing the feel.