Only a few weeks till my exhibition and dinner in Nihombashi! The first step is to clear the decks ready for the last run before the show.
Empty the damp room, clean the dust off the bamboo. Any fragments of clay from the boards at the top could fall into the pots below, spoiling the finished surface.
This room was the "kitchen" in the original building, the "doma" earth floored room where the "kamado" wood oven was. When we moved here the roof was rotten through and we could see the blue sky between the tiles. After I rebuilt it you can still see through a skylight window, but the elements stay outside for the most part. The earth floor helps to regulate the humidity in the room so the pots don't dry too quickly or unevenly.
The bamboo for the racks is from the grove on the back of our hill. I cut it between the autumn and spring equinox when the sap isn't running, so that it doesn't rot during summer. We should be getting bamboo shoots soon. The flavour and texture of fresh home grown bamboo is one of the joys of the Japanese rural life.