In Japan, when you visit someone in his or her home or studio, it is customary (indeed obligatory) for the visitee to provide tea and/or coffee and something to eat, generally sweets. Likewise, it is nearly obligatory for the visitor to eat what is presented, no matter how much bean paste confections may not hit the spot an hour after breakfast or lunch (or ever for untrained western palates).
Still, these offerings are generally served on little plates made by the artist, and that is nice. And occasionally the artist or his wife or assistant takes the trouble to prepare a lovely little plate, such as the one below.
|Chestnut on a plate by Ichino Masahiko|
|Bento boxes by Nakamoto-san|
|Inside Awae-san's bento boxes|
|Hitomi making takoyaki|
|Takoyaki in takoyaki maker|
These intimate encounters with ceramic artists in their homes are a special joy, and one of the added benefits of a well-designed tour.