Sengoku Horizon

Look towards the Horizon

The Warring States Period: Fierce warlords fought for control of Japan, and many would perish. When a warrior falls, where does the passion they once held go? Possibly into something dear such as a favorite weapon or heirloom. These heirlooms have been labeled as “relics”, and those that carry them are labeled as “Scions." Recently more and more of these special relics have been activating, signaling the start of a great change as ancient power meets the modern world!

Now For The Local News, 3/8/2017Spring has come. The war with the Ikko Ikki monks has begun! The Bugei students set off to various areas of Japan in the first war the country has seen in nearly 200 years! What will happen as monks and samurai clash? FIND OUT!

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 Special Class: Pottery 101
Nobuyumi
 Posted: Apr 1 2017, 11:01 AM
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Kono-sensei watched carefully as her students tried to smooth out the coils of the pot. It was just a 101 class so the students weren't doing anything advanced or particularly difficult. It felt good to her to see the students enjoying themselves though. None of the three pots could be called perfect, but that alone was part of pottery.
"Remember, if everything looked uniform and perfect it would be terrible. If you make a mistake don't try to correct it or fight it. Instead simply embrace it for what it is." she said with a large smile. Naturally her coil pot did look nearly perfect, though the students wouldn't be able to tell the small imperfections she had accidentally made on the inside of the pot.

"Will we be adding coloring to the pots when they're finished? Or is that part of another class?" Shinsuke asked. Kono-sensei gave a warm smile and looked at the pots.
"To be completely honest, coloring dyes are fairly expensive, even for a school funded by the Shogunate. If you all come for my follow up class then we will get into more advanced pottery techniques such as coloring. For now I want you all to just learn the basics of crafting a pot." it was a very soft rejection of Shinsuke's idea, and had no type of animosity in the words. It was simply an unfortunate fact that dying clay was rather pricey.

"Now, keep going like this. Add coils, smooth the inside. Don't make it too high though or it may fall apart when I go to put these to dry. When you are done I want each of you to pick a single kanji to put on the front of your pot. Keep in mind you dont want to make the kanji too deep. Just lightly take a wooden knife from the table and very lightly carve a kanji." and with that Kono-sensei would take a knife and barely touching the pot put the kanji of 清 (Purity) onto her pot.

"Once you are done i want everyone to put some plastic wrap on your pot, and meet me here this time tomorrow evening." she said rather suddenly. The look on her face seemed genuinely excited. After all this was her favorite part of making fine pottery.

Suzu
Aideen
Voyevoda

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Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Apr 2 2017, 12:29 PM
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Kire looked up, that advice was different than what he was used to. It was certainly a very different philosophy than his work had instilled in him. Imperfections weren't acceptable. He looked at his pot. Imperfections were there, glaring, obvious, but it was his first pot. Was it really ok to leave them there? It wasn't as if he was making a weapon. An imperfection there could get someone killed. But then, the pots weren't tools like that, they were art. Maybe not entirely functional art, he couldn't remember the last time he'd needed a clay pot but paintings weren't functional either and those were important.

He took a deep breath and focused his mind on letting it all go. Of course letting mistakes stay was not the same as letting himself get sloppy. He built up the pot with care and steady hands born in the forge. But he didn't try too hard to correct the coils when they ended up a little too big or too small, even if the blatant inconsistencies were trying very hard to get under his skin.

The kanji to finish it all up took him a bit while he thought of all the different things. In the end, he went for simplicity. 埴 meaning clay. He was not feeling very creative but it was better than pot or first which were his second and third choices. He looked over his work one last time and got the plastic to put over the pot. So that was the first class, he thought to himself. It was a start but maybe someday he'd be able to do something really impressive for Kono-sensei.

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Suzu
 Posted: May 14 2017, 05:47 AM
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The remarks about not fighting imperfections actually rang with greater truth than just pottery for Shinsuke. His years of studying diplomacy and interpersonal interaction had taught the lesson of adaptability. No negotiation was going to go perfectly; if all clan relations were without problems there would be no need for diplomats to step in. An invaluable skill for one to have, then, was the willingness and ability to alter plans and go with the flow. It seemed that rang true in the world of art as well.

"Oh, I see. I completely understand, Konno-sensei," he replied pleasantly as he worked with the extra coils of clay. As he smoothed the inside, he wondered if the lesson about taking the art as it came might apply to his plans for it as well. At first he'd wanted to make something for a girl who'd been on his mind. Now that he'd worked at it a bit he wasn't sure this was quite the right gift for her. Yet he was still proud of how it was turning out thus far. Definitely something to keep in his room in a place of pride.

As for the kanji, he almost instantly decided which to mark his pot with. With careful movements of the hand he etched the kanji for water. Simple yes. But like the pottery and diplomacy it reminded him of the need to go with the flow and adjust as life happened. There was a satisfied smile on the boy's face when he at last had finished, and he carefully placed plastic wrap on his pot.

"There, hopefully it will turn out well," he remarked before turning to the teacher, "Konno-sensei, thank you for the class tonight. I look forward to continuing under your instruction tomorrow night as well."

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: May 22 2017, 07:43 PM
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Kono-sensei watched in excitement as her students decorated the pots. It was always fascinating to see what each student put to customize the creation. One put the kanji for clay. Inside Kono-sensei giggled a bit. It was so simplistic, however it was rare to find someone who wouldn't try overly hard to put deeper meaning into a first time creation. Another student put the kanji for water. Again, not a bad choice given how much water they used, and what the pot would likely be used for. Both seemed like excellent choices as the students left.

Kono-sensei would then cover everything up and close the shop for the night. The next evening rather late at night Kono-sensei would come back and set everything up for the students who would soon be arriving. It had taken some time but when the students walked in they would find a large pot with a strange liquid in the middle of the room. Three cups hanging off the large pot.
"Welcome back." she said with a smile. Pointing to the rather bad smelling pot in the middle of the room she explain.
"Everyone grab a cup and dip it in, get a nice spoonful. This is glaze. This will seal in your pottery and then we will fire it to make it into a solid pot." then she pointed to a small box of plastic gloves next to the door.
"Gloves first though. you really don't want glaze on your skin, or to get skin and oil into the glaze itself."

Waiting a bit for the students to get cups of glaze she walked over to a stand to bring over the student's cups and put them on a table.
"Now, a few tips. First take these small brushes and dust off your pots. You want as little extra things on your cups as possible before you glaze them. Glaze will seal everything in." Shen then took a coil pot she herself had made and showed it to the students. It had no kanji on it. She then poured a bit of glaze into a cup, took a brush, and started slowly brushing the glaze onto her pot.
"This is a long process, but please take your time and enjoy it. It can be very relaxing." she explained as she slowly brushed the glaze onto her pot.

"Go ahead. You guys do the same and let me know when you are done." then she took off the gloves, walked over, and clicked a button on a c.d. player to put on some very relaxing traditional music before getting a new set of plastic gloves and going back to glazing.

Suzu
Aideen
Voyevoda

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: May 24 2017, 04:24 PM
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Another day of school work. Frankly it was all a bit dull. He needed a new project to captrure his attention and keep his mind from going to the dark places where the experimental weapons lay. That path only led to madness and impracticality. But there was one bright spot to his day that he had been looking forward to. That was his second class with Kono-sensei. He wasn't sure what he'd be learning today but it would probably be amazing like she was. Maybe he'd be able to make good use of his already acquired talents to impress her. Or maybe not, you couldn't predict such things. At worst, he'd try his best and maybe that would earn her praise.

He arrived early and collected his pot. As tonight's activities were explained, he nodded attentively. It made some sense. His metal work didn't require exactly that but it did share some elements. It sounded a bit like tempering the blade, although the clay would probably shatter if it was cooled in such a way. Maybe this was more like the hamon design. But cleaning it was a bit new, but of course, the pots weren't purified in fire beforehand.

Kire collected his cup of glaze and cup, setting it by the pot before collecting his gloves. The glaze was unpleasant smelling, but he'd get used to it soon enough. He took a slow, deep breath through his mouth and exhaled out his nose as he prepared to begin. The small brush slid against the pot. He'd start with getting rid of extra particles at the top and work his way down, then he'd do the same with the glaze. It would be a long, tedious process, but he was used to this sort of work when he had to work with swords using the ancient techniques. He would get through it.

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Suzu
 Posted: May 27 2017, 06:14 AM
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Shinsuke had returned to the pottery class with a bit more confidence than the first time around. Though he'd done fine that first outing, he'd been anxious about making something for someone else. Now that it was just going to be an item for his own personal use he wasn't nearly so nervous about it being perfect. It wasn't hard to tell that he was feeling looser and more relaxed than before. With the instructions set out he first put his gloves on and then slowly approached the pot in the center of the room.

As soon as he was within a couple steps his nostrils were assaulted by the smell of the glaze within. It had been out of curiosity that he'd approached, and now he wished he hadn't been so quick to do so. After moving away to clear his senses a little, the Todo boy fetched his cup of glaze. With his breath held but he was still successful. Once he'd taken his pot in hand rather than the glaze, he dusted it off as suggested. All the while he held it close as if this would allow him to see each speck of the stuff that was brushed off.

Only once that was done did he begin the arduous process of painting glaze onto the pot. Each stroke was applied gently as Shinsuke felt the contentment of taking his time with the art wash over him. Between that and the music he was more relaxed than he'd been in a while. He wondered if it was an appropriate time to ask Konno-sensei a question unrelated to pottery, but perhaps he ought to wait.

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Nobuyumi
 Posted: May 28 2017, 09:43 AM
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Kono-sensei seemed so zen while she worked. Looking at her students she spoke in a very gentle voice.
"Some people simply dip the cup in the glaze then pour out the excess. This is not the way of the Kono. It should not be the way of any person who cares about what they craft. Start from the very top and the inside. This gives the glaze time to settle. Then turn over your cup, set it on it's rim, and brush the bottom. This way you touch as little of the cup as possible. Your fingers will remove the glaze as you touch it. This slow, careful way gives the glaze more time to settle. This way less comes off." even the way she brushed the glaze onto her pot spoke to show elegant Kono-sensei was. Her brush strokes clearly showing her skills in both art and calligraphy. Her face seemed like someone so extremely calm that even an attack on the school likely wouldn't phase her right now. This was the true blessing of the Kono clan. It was a clan of master artisans.

"Be careful of the glaze." she said without even looking up at the students, her strokes not missing even a single beat.
"The clay will absorb some of the glaze. Be aware of what areas you have already painted the glaze on to as they will look dryer and appear as though they have less glaze than they actually do. Glaze starts shiny, but finished very matte like. Too much glaze in one spot will ruin your piece." and with that she finished painting the glaze on to her pot and would politely wait until the others had finished doing the same.

"If you all have any questions, or any ideas of crafts you would like to make in future classes please tell me. We will need to wait a few minutes for our pieces to finish settling before we fire them."

(OOC: I do actually mean that as an in character way of asking if you guys want particular classes in the future.)

Suzu
Aideen
Voyevoda

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: May 28 2017, 07:42 PM
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The glaze was tricky, unlike mud, it didn't show as well against teh clay itself. He wasn't quite sure he was following Kono-sensei's instructions as well as he wanted. He certainly was trying to make it an even coating all the way around. But he was starting to wonder if he'd lost track of the ends as he brushed it around the pot. Following the rings seemed like a good start, but then he had to make a few assumptions about where they ended, and then also avoid getting too much overlap. Or possibly not enough. It was a trick.

Getting the inside of the pot was awkward as well. He had to try very hard not to brush the sides of the pot wih his wrist or any part of his hand while he brushed along. This certainly had stopped being like any kind of bladesmithing he had worked on previously. He wondered if this actually was a skill he would be able to transfer to his craft But, it didn't matter in the end, did it? He was mostly in this class to be with Kono-sensei. That was good enough for now. He had the electives to waste.

As he flipped his pot over and began working on the underside, he ventured a question. "Is unfired clay a good insulator? Could you bake something inside it without much damage?" He did have a few questions actually. "How hot does the kiln get and for how long will these pots be heated?" Certainly some ideas were coming to light but he wasn't prepared to venture out too far lest he embarrass himself in front of her. As for classes, he would sign up for whatever came about, the content less important than the teacher.

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Suzu
 Posted: Jun 12 2017, 06:02 AM
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Shinsuke tried his best to emulate the zenlike example of Kono-sensei as he dealt with the glaze. Even if this weren't for anyone or anything in particular, he didn't want to mess the cup up. After the time they'd all put in for this introductory class, he didn't want to end up with nothing to show for it. So he worked slowly and gradually to ensure it was as expertly applied as he could manage.

Once he had spread out the glaze fairly evenly, Shinsuke heard their teacher invite questions or suggestions for future classes. Pottery wasn't too hard to learn some basics of though it'd take a lot of work to become well versed in it. In all honesty he was pretty sure that this could become a new interest to pursue. His sister was the warrior of the family, and having another artisan skill to speak to would help diplomatic efforts. At least, it stood the potential to do so.

"Kono-sensei, I would be interested in making a vase or decorative piece in the future. Would that be possible for a future class?" he asked, his tone indicating that he was both relaxed and satisfied with what he'd learned so far.


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Nobuyumi
 Posted: Jun 16 2017, 10:31 PM
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As the students finished glazing the pot they asked a series of rather odd questions starting with Kire.
"Is unfired clay a good insulator? Could you bake something inside it without much damage?" Kono-sensei thought about it a minute as she looked at the clay they used. It seemed a bit odd to think about.
"I'm not sure I would recommend it. As you fire the clay whatever is inside it would get stuck to the clay. It would make it very difficult unless we are talking about an earthen furnace for weapons grade steel." it was true that some blacksmiths gathered up clay and then made a large fire under it. Though in terms of cooking something like food for consumption she couldn't see much merit to the idea.

"How hot does the kiln get and for how long will these pots be heated?" Kono-sensei gave a rather serious look to the group. She knew they wouldn't appreciate the answer but they would find out eventually.
"The kiln gets hotter than most furnaces you are accustomed to. Most modern appliances are fired in giant clay furnaces. It it not a temperature to be taken lightly. Now in regards to the second part, to be honest, the glaze has to completely dry, which will take a few days, then the actual cooking process will take another few days. Over all we are looking at about a week or two until you all get your pieces back. However, you will get full credits right away." with that she hoped that Kire's questions would have been laid to rest. After his, now would come Shinsuke's.

"Kono-sensei, I would be interested in making a vase or decorative piece in the future. Would that be possible for a future class?" With that Kono-sensei gave an approving look and nod. It was clear that Shinsuke was interested in the pottery process. The more she thought about it the more she realized that being a Todo his lands rested near the Iyo-Kono. So Shinsuke would likely have seen a lot of Kono pottery growing up and trading.
"Of course we can have more classes like this." she said proudly.

Seeing the students done wit the glaze she stood up and looked at the students handing them all sips of paper. The paper said that each one of them got full credits and thanked them for taking the class.
"Your pottery will be sent to you in two weeks. I am proud of you all." with this the class would come to an end. The students would receive the pottery later.

(OOC: Last Round. Please describe your pottery. It would likely arrive in your dorms a week and a half after this class.)

Suzu
Aideen
Voyevoda

--------------------
Azai Nobuyori
The stuck up clan lord who defends the people.

Tagami Yumiko
The adorable poet girl who hates war.
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Aideen
 Posted: Jun 21 2017, 09:28 PM
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Kire had a lot to think about. His questions had sort of been answered. Certainly it might be difficult and sure there might be damage, but he did want to find out more. Perhaps he'd have to do some actual homework for a class. He'd rather just experiment but that would probably not go over well, especially if it led to damaging the kiln. It wouldn't be the first time that an experiment backfired on him and he had the scars to prove it. Even if those scars were very tiny and were pretty much invisible if you weren't looking for them. He'd kind of grown out o them, they seemed really impressive when he was eight.

Perhaps he was thinking outside his role but, in the end, he was going to be a smith for somebody very important one day. Best to be able to supply them with whatever weapon of gadget they would need for any situation. If he could bake knives into clay, that might be a new thought. Certainly there were a lot of foreign cultures that used a curved blade. Kire felt pretty confident he could design something for it.

Imagine, an escape where you could properly arm a dozen captured allies with a single broken bit of crockery. Yes, he would have a lot to think about once his current project was complete. For now, however, he would have to just wait for his pot to be done and delivered.

Eventually it did come, Kire was resting and recuperating after his accident and the arrival of the pottery wasn't exactly enough to cheer him up. It looked...less than stellar. You could tell it wasn't his forte and had been an early attempt. Oh well, he thought to himself, once he'd properly mastered the crraft, he could crush it into powder and add a little bit into any future pots or pottery he made. It was a weird ritual but it had been instilled upon him from an early age. That original creation stayed with you and reusing parts of it, in the same way you used the experience gained, was part of becoming a master. It was nonsense but hey, why risk being wrong about tradition?

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