Time to catch up on my blog and my annual challenge!
I have several pieces nearly finished - but first I want to tell you about my amazing trip to Japan!. This is part one - yes there will be a part two very soon! I decided that it was all so wonderful it warranted two entries in my challenge! I hope you agree :)
The flight to Japan is around 12 hours from the UK so by the time I arrived I was already feeling a little weary having not slept on the plane. I had a couple of hours to wait for the bus transfer and I have to say Haneda airport in Tokyo is an excellent place to plane watch! I arrived at my hotel before noon, left my luggage ready to check in later and headed straight out to see some of the surrounding area. The hotel staff told me the easiest way to where I wanted to go was through Ikebukuro railway station - um... it is the second busiest station in the world! Actually navigating it wasn't too bad, I found my way without getting lost! On returning to the hotel I found they had upgraded me for free - how nice!!! I was on the 22nd floor of the hotel and had a lovely view out across Tokyo - day and night!
Then I headed out again to find the exhibition of all the work from the Silver Accessories Contest 2015. The first surprise was when I saw the poster for the exhibition! Wow - how good is this - very me with all those lovely colours!!!
The venue for the exhibition was stunning, and looked great in the dark....
...and all the entries were wonderful to see. The quality of the work was just amazing and very inspiring!! I really did feel a bit stunned and very honoured that all four judges had chosen my piece for the Grand Prix Award!!
Next day I met up with Dice Minagawa from Aida for a day of sightseeing and shopping! We started off back at the exhibition for another look and a few photos (photography was not allowed in the exhibition so I was very pleased to have these taken for me!). That poster again (of course!) at the entrance to the gallery...
...and inside the exhibition by my piece!!! :D
Then we headed off out across Tokyo to go to the jewellery area first. It wasn't long before I had purchased quite a few lovely jewellery tools and supplies (wonderful mini hammers!) and some beautiful turquoise and amethyst beads.
The fish markets were so colourful. I really didn't fancy the red snapper eyes though which are apparently a delicacy!!!!
After seeing all that fish we had to have a fishy lunch!
Lots of beautiful fresh raw and cooked fish, pickles and rice...and we even cooked our own giant clam on the grill on our table!
It was a very colourful place and I thought it was quite old, turned out it is a modern chain based on the old fishing village eateries! Oh well :) It looked the part and was very atmospheric!
I found it really interesting how the shops are grouped in areas in Tokyo. After the jewellery supplies we went to the kitchen supplies area (loads of interesting things there!) and then the road where all the shops sell every kind of food dish you can imagine all made out of wax that all the restaurants use in their windows (it's all incredibly realistic!). We saw shops full of pottery and others selling masks! (Oh yes, more on masks in another post! ;) )
So much to see...
Finally we arrived at Asakusa - a large temple complex in Tokyo. My plan was to revisit that area on the Monday to explore further.
When I arrived back at my hotel this coach was parked outside - it seemed to sum up the day perfectly! :D
Day 3 was the main reason for my visit to Japan - the Silver Accessories Contest 2015Award Ceremony!
It started off with the official ceremony at 1pm that lasted about an hour. Lots of the award winners were there and it was wonderful as each person went on stage to receive their prize. I was last on and the only one giving a short speech, and I have to say as it drew nearer I started to feel a little bit nervous! When it came to it I think it was all fine though :)
I received my certificate, award and prize...here is Mr Aida reading my certificate before presenting it to me...
...and then I did my speech which Dice translated (no, I didn't have to do it in Japanese!).
After that it was time for everyone to enjoy themselves at the reception with a lovely buffet meal. I met lots of delightful people, so many excellent metal clay artists and everyone wearing their fantastic creations as well!
To be continued...!!!