After the gathering, after guests have left, and the helpers have been served there is the clean-up. All of the dogu is cleaned, the fire has been picked and the kettle returned to dry. If the gathering has taken place at a rented venue, everything needs to be packed up and loaded in the car to be brought home.
Once home, the dogu needs to be unpacked, washed again, inspected and left to air dry overnight. As I was working after the last gathering, I was thinking of how much a pleasure it is to re-wrap each piece, put it in its box and put it away.
When I pack each piece, I kind of do a silly little thing by silently thanking each piece, before I wrap it carefully and say goodbye until the next time I use it. Because I have several storage places in the house, I try to put it back in exactly the same place so I can find it again next time I want to use it.
I have recently put my dogu inventory online. Each piece has as description, photo(s), when and how I acquired it, any notes about the artists, style, etc., and where it is (supposed to be) stored. In addition, I have labeled several shelves in the dogu closet, and sometimes on each box so I know what is in each one.
This project took me years, but now saves so much time. I can pick a toriwase from photos online and find them in the closet without too much digging. After a gathering, everything has a place to be put away. I used to have piles of dogu all over the house because I didn’t put things away immediately and I had to dig through piles of things for the next gathering.
In gratitude, thank you to all the dogu for your work this gathering. That is also thank you to all the people who have gifted me with much of my dogu, and thank you to all the artists for creating these beautiful pieces for me to use. Kansha.