On Glory and Failure

Every village has its idiot, and yesterday – that was me.

I traveled to the small Javanese Sultanate of Yogyakarta to spend a weekend away from Jakarta, after working on a new product there the week before. What was I expecting to find in a small Javanese Sultanate? No idea! A few people said it was beautiful and that I should go, so taking the advice of a few locals, I went.

After an 8 hour train ride through the mountains of interior Java, I arrived late my first night and chowed down on the local fried rice cooked street-side over a wood burning stove.

The next day, bright and early, I decided to rent a motorcycle. I’ve ridden before all over Nepal and Taiwan (multiple times! and I’ve been saved more than once!), so I figured, how hard could this be?

It was actually really easy going at first. The roads are in much better shape than Nepal (it’s a legitimate question, in Nepal, if you can count a slow moving river bed as a road…) and the drivers are much less aggressive than Taiwan. That is actually one of the strangest things about driving in Indonesia – the traffic is quite heavy, but there’s no aggression to it at all.

I rode about two hours out to Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple, considered the largest in the world. I rode through roads cutting across rice fields and tropical forests. I rode as if the wind carried me, birds flying alongside me, farmers shouting “hello mister” to the odd feigner on a motorcycle in rural Java.

2018-02-10 14.50.13

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2017 Summer in Japan and Korea: Onggi Ceramics with Master Anshi Sung

You might remember Anshii Sung, the Onggi Master, from this Guest post way back in 2012

Anshi Sung and Mr Hong

Anshi Sung makes his own clay, hand throws all of his pieces on a kick wheel, and wood fires them in a 250 year old climbing kiln built by the Jesuits.  His work is some of the highest quality ceramic I’ve used and he truly elevates functional onngi pieces into an art-form.

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