Friday, December 18, 2009


The last few days in Beijing (and China for that matter) where spent walking around the city.  I went to the Birds Nest, a really amazing gallery area called the 798, hung out with all of my pals, and ate at wonderful restaurants.
Well this is the last post for my China blog.  There is no way for me to say how wonderful this experience has been, and no way for me to talk about how much I have gained, maybe a whole bunch will do the trick..
  Thanks for keeping up with the blog and all of the comments.
"Go to China, it is a great place with great people."

Good Great Wall 12/11/09

The Great Wall of China is unbelievable.  I walked a few miles in an upwards direction with a few friends.  We would see a peak in the distance that looked to be higher than all of the rest and so our goal was to get to it.  Once there we would see that the next peak was actually higher.  This continued until we could no longer walk.
After seeing the wall and the mountains that surround it I have no idea why anyone would want to try to invade another country.  I would have stayed home with a nice warm fire.

Beijing 12/10/09

We arrived in Beijing today after an overnight train ride.  The trip was hilarious as most of us have way to many bags filled with lots of Chinese goodies.
We visited the Forbidden City and Tienanmen square.  The Forbidden City was amazingly huge and had an amazing garden filled with different items from around the world.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Great Mosque 12/09/09

These photos are from the Great Mosque of Xi'an.  Our hotel is located near the Muslim district here in Xi'an.  My friends Chris, Donna, and Jeremy accompanied me to check out the mosque.  The area is really peaceful, and beautiful.  Comparing the Chinese Muslim mosque aesthetic to that of the Ottoman Turks is interesting, and the contrast is striking.

Xi'an Museum of History 12/08/09

Today we visited the Xi'an Museum of history, which had so many wonderful exhibits on Chinese history.  My imagination was all over the place.  The Museum contained the finest artwork and artifacts dating from 5000 BC to the 1700's.  The weather has been cloudy and rainy here, but we weary travelers are nothing but smiles.

Stone Forest 12/07/09

Day 2 in Xi'an finds us visiting a place called the Stone Forest.  The stone forest contains hundreds of these huge slabs of marble and stone with ancient texts, poems, and other writings carved into them.  The stones were used to preserve important texts, whereas paper might be burnt, or disintegrate.

Chen Lu 12/06/09

Today we traveled into the mountains outside of Xi'an to a tiny little, dying, pottery town, called Chen Lu.  The town is located on the mountain side, and was at one time called the city of light because there where always kilns burning brightly somewhere in the town.  We visited an old, famous potters studio who is a friend of Bob's.  We had an exciting day all around, especially during the ride up and down the winding, mountainous road.

Terra-Cotta Warriors 12/05/09

We are in Xi'an, which is a city of some where between 10 and 15 million people.  We traveled outside the city today to see the famed Terra-Cotta Soldiers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's funerary guard.  These sculptures where first discovered by a farmer in the 1970's.  A large amount of the grave guard has been uncovered, but it is said that a large amount is still yet to be uncovered, it is being called the 8th wonder of the world.  
I had a nice time letting my imagination wander, meditating on how much man power and energy the creators of this place put into it, and what their lives must have been like.

Last little bit 12/04/09 (please excuse the mistakes on the past few dates)

We leave for the airport today in order to travel to Xi'an.  I went out this morning to find the fake factory that I have been searching for.  I found a section of the city where most of the shops sell "antiques" and I found a few places that make the pots that become the "antiques".  Most of the ware at the Antique market is made like normal, but then the sellers will rub in dirt and oil onto the surface to age the ceramics.  I have even heard they sometimes bury the pieces in dirt for an extended time to age them.
 I also found a box makers shop (When you buy a pots here they usually put them in these really fancy looking, cheaply made boxes, that are really cool.
 I also found a paper shop that was so nice (I love paper). 

Last day in Jingdezhen 12/03/09

This morning we climbed the mountain again, and this time my camera had batteries.  I went with my friend JuFang, Daniel, Wei, Wei's mother.  We left really early in the morning so the slope was quite slippery, which made the climb quite the adventure.  Wei's mother was amazing at climbing, and made me feel like a baby billy goat who is just learning to walk.  

I love the feeling of looking out on the city, because it puts things into perspective in regards to my individual smallness.  I like the idea of one of a million, it helps take the stress away from the "importance" of my life.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sale 11/02/09

Today we are having a studio sale.  I like selling and giving away work, it is cool to see what pieces others like compared to what I like.  So far a lot of work has been sold by everyone, which is cool to see.

More Little 11/01/09

This evening I was invited to teach an kids english class to children between the ages of 
5-12, it was so fun and so funny.  We played a bunch of games and I had the kids help me with my Chinese.  If I learned anything, it would be that Chinese kids are no different than English kids - energetic

The Last 11/30/09

The last kiln has been loaded, one last day of home made presents.  We had a local kiln master come today and give us a few gems of knowledge about firing kilns.
 This has been an amazing time here, I can hardly believe that it is coming to a close.  
I have been thinking lately about how adaptable humans are.  Three months ago I did not know any of these people, and now we are all good pals. 
Here is a photo of a sculpture I have been slowly working on, it is a cartoon version of the great, and a bit serious Buddha made not so serious.

Little Groms 11/29/09

I met a women at the lecture who asked me if I would hang out with some of her english students and talk to them.  I hung out with three 7 year olds for almost the whole day, it was hilarious because they spoke amazingly good english and their mothers, who followed us around the whole time spoke little, or none.  While I was talking with them in English they were able to help me with my Chinese, which we all enjoyed.

The last big vase 11/28/09

More big vases, I could hardly believe it myself.  This factory was cool because they had big vases, but they also made slip ware, and did a lot of slab, and vessel painting.  Plus I got to meet the biggest Mao yet.