Linden Gallery/Mizuya show update

We just returned from Door County after a weekend showing of tableware and kimono from Mizuya at the Linden Gallery. We had a very full two days and wish we could have spent more time with gallery owners Brian and Jeanee, as well as their kids, Shane and Bryce. The gallery is located in the small town of Ellison Bay, almost at the tip of Door County, and makes its home in an modern building with a soaring arched ceiling. They told us the building was originally used as a church!

We showed tableware, including ceramics and lacquerware, but also brought along some vintage kimono, juban (kimono undergarments) haori and michiyuki (coats to go over kimono). It was our first foray out of the closet instead of the kitchen — you could say — and it was very successful.

So successful, in fact, that we’ve extended the show through the month of September and have committed to another show next summer. Details will be shared here and on Savory Japan.

Kirk did some beautiful, sparse ikebana in Bizen, Tamba and Shigaraki vases as well. I was surprised by the speed at which he created them, and everyone commented on how they added beauty to the displays.

It was a great chance to show how living with Japanese tableware can bring a measure of calm and beauty to everyday life.

We also presented a talk and demonstration on the releationship between Japanese food and tableware, using just the items from the show.

After a brief introduction on the basic principles of Japanese cuisine, we traveled through the seasons — starting with a spring arrangement of shrimp, takenoko (bamboo shoots) and wakame (seaweed). Next came a summer otsukuri (sashimi arrangement) on a cool-feeling blue & white Imari plate, followed by roasted mushrooms for fall, and a selection of winter appetizers on a Shino platter. The final dish was a  jubako (lacquer box) filled with osechi-ryori (New Year’s cuisine), which elicited a gasp when the lid was lifted. Finally, we shared the food and no one went home hungry.

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