Japan Flowform Work Shop with Taruna 7
Konomi runs “Windy Hill” Biodynamic farm where I stayed with the woofers , more than comfortable in my little room, with plenty of good food & great hospitality. This was truly an amazing experience running a Flowform workshop & building a Taruna 7 water feature, which ran into a good size pond still under construction.
The w/shop was for 2 weeks of 5 hrs/day so we attempted to
follow right through to concrete FFms from plaster casts. Starting with
clay shapes that we trial with water, this is a series of trials &
errors, until the Lemniscate appears. Even then this is but a start to a
good FFm. Following that, is a plaster casts of the clay shape, drying,
sealing, applying release, then casting in concrete.
We commenced with most of the first 2 days lecturing on
water & Flowforms, power point slide show, and lengthy disscussions on
the creation of FFms. Mid after noon on the second day we started on the
clay & boy, these guys where keen. I was constantly on the go,
attending to all the questions. Unfortunately the materials list had not
been totally fulfilled so I found myself furiously making clay tools for
each of the 22 students, whilst rushing around attending many queries
& showing people how to work with clay.
There where 900 bricks to lay in the serpentine wall which is nearly 5mtrs long with steps 710mm long and rising 300mm. This was my first Serpentine wall and I found it to be an enjoyable challenge. Although I was a bit slow with the course gravelly sand they gave me.
To my surprise procuring materials was often quite
difficult. Gravel for concrete came in 20kg bags & white plasterers
sand was hard to get & finally turned up in a 20 kg bag for the
equivalent of $30 aus. May I state here that we are so lucky in Australia
to have an abundance of raw materials of nearly every type. Concrete
pigment was virtually unobtainable. We finally conned the Bayer Company to
send us samples of both red & yellow, all the way from Tokyo. By the
first Saturday the pressure was on. The pond builders wanted to finish the
landscaping around the FFm wall, which wasn’t finished yet, so they
The following night we built a drying box for the plaster
moulds, I had ordered a fan heater but all they came up with was 2 hair
dryers. Unfortunately, they where not hot enough. We needed 63 degrees and
only got to 45. By Tuesday Naho and Saturo had completed their
masterpieces, so it was out with the plaster. In total I mixed 500kg of
plaster with a drill and stirrer I had squeezed into my suitcase along
with a trowel and a ceramic Sprite for Konomi, plus, a few clothes.
Wednesday evening I rounded off the bricks with an angle grinder and glued
all the cement sheets down. Thursday evening I bagged the wall with sand
cement and colour, sort of an Ayers Rock shade.