Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nerikomi or Inlaid Clay

Inlaid Bowl by Linda Starr

If you've been reading my blog, you know I love to experiment with different techniques in clay. Most of the time I don't do much research ahead of time, I just try something and see if it works. Last night I was down to just scraps of cone 10 clay. A little black mountain and an even smaller amount of B mix. I was wondering what I could do with the left over clay. At first I thought about wedging them together but the black mountain has so much iron I figured it would just make the B mix brown. I decided to impress some thin strips of B mix into the black mountain clay, some inlaid clay if you will. I thought the contrast of the white stoneware against the black mountain would look nice.

Inlaid Plate by Linda Starr

I rolled out three small slabs of black mountain and set them aside. Then I rolled out some B-mix and cut it into thin strips. Then I laid the strips of B mix on the black mountains and rolled them in. I was aiming for some very thin lines of white, but I didn't take into consideration the thin strips would spread out when I rolled them into the black mountain clay and the thin strips would become much wider. In the first photo the bowl is the effect I was aiming for. This was the third piece I made. I made the medium plate and small plate first. Then I realized I needed even thinner strips of B mix clay so they wouldn't stretch as much when I rolled them into the black mountain clay.

Inlaid Salad Plate by Linda Starr

When I was typing up this post, I did a search for inlaid clay and found out it's called nerikomi. I wasn't really surprised to learn that what I tried has been done before. Although these three pieces are simple in design really more inlaid clay than nerikomi, I can really see the potential for this type of technique. In most nerikomi the clay is stained with different colors and layered together into loafs and then sliced and then the slices are applied to the clay or pressed into a form to make an intricately designed ceramic piece. In most instances the inside and outside of the vessel show the same design or color. With my pieces the white clay is only visible on the surface or front side. Have you tried nerikomi or inlaid clay?


Here are some rose scented geranium flowers in my herb garden. When the leaves are crushed they smell just like a rose. The gray foliage plant in the background is artemesia 'Powis Castle' and the leaves are dried and used in potpourri; they have a woodsy scent. Next time I try this clay technique I think I'll try adding some stain to some of the clay and see what other types of designs I can come up with. Comments are always welcome.

14 comments:

  1. the inlaid plates are nice, particularly the last one posted... i've always wanted to try nerikomi too. you've probably seen him already but i think curtis benzle is a master at this, his link is on my blog... http://www.benzleporcelain.com/index.asp also he has some amazing step by step videos on youtube if you're interested.

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  2. Hi Jim, thanks that's the first one I made. I wasn't aware of Curtis Benzie, I will check out the link and look into youtube also. Thanks so much. I knew about Vince Pitelka and Jane Peiser, but didn't really look up their work again before I made these pieces.

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  3. Your "experiments" are wonderful. I love the fern platter too! When I saw your picture of the rose scented geranium I was wondering if you ever make scented oils with all of your beautiful flowers?

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  4. Hi Cindy, thanks, I'm like a kid with a new toy (clay is my toy) and my experiments. Sometimes I feel like I should just hone in on one particular style but so far nothing has really struck me to stick with - just it alone. I do have a table top distiller, but no time to distill any oil, one of these days. If I hadn't of found clay I probably would have already, but once I started in on clay - everything else was all over.

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  5. Thanks Linda for your experiments, I find it interesting technique. Reminds me some Etruschi dishes that I have seen in Tarquinia near Rome. Ciao
    filippo

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  6. Hi Filippo, thanks so much, I will do more research on this technique.

    Filippo, I have tried to make a comment on your blog, but for some reason since I am on dial up internet connection, I have not been able to. I love all your pottery, some of them are so thin and the ones you wish to make with sound are very interesting to me. I need to find a computer repair person to come over here and change my modem to a faster one so I can make my computer go faster. Please be patient I will make some comments on your blog soon, I hope. Thanks for visiting my blog and telling me about Italian pottery. Ciao.

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  7. Linda check out Chris'sneriage:
    http://www.ccpottery.com/thestudio.html

    she teaches and does magnificent work. JT

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  8. Ciao Linda, If you want to see my way to associate the plant visit my post with the name
    Elective Affinity in my blog "Ortocasa" http://www.worldfoodgarden.org/viewGardenerBlog.asp?r=1166

    filippo

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  9. Hi Joan, thanks I will definitely check it out, I really appreciate it.

    Hi Filippio, I will check the link, thanks so much.

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  10. Hi Linda, Thanks for visiting my blog,I did have your comment up but the image you commented on was on the blog sideways and the only way i could change it was to redo the image and delete the old one so your comments were wiped as well.Your neriage work is great,
    No I didn't paint the colourful portrait but the Glass casting is mine and I posted an old painting I did of my son years ago for comparison Good to hear from you. Judy

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  11. Hi Judy, no problem, I understand about these blog things. Thanks, I don't know whether to call it neriage, nerikome or inlay - really it is only inlay since it doesn't go to the other side. But I have several more ideas - one thing leads to another as they say. I will have to go back and check your blog to see the painting of your son, so glad he is having such a good trip. Good to hear from you.

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  12. Linda, gorgeous work! I haven't ever done inlaid clay (I rarely handbuild), but have done something similar with wedging two clays, throwing on the wheel and then trimming lightly or sanding to expose the striations and differences in the clay. Looking at what you've done makes me think it would be fun to try it your way.

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  13. Hi Julia, thanks so much. I have a ton of ideas in my head. I just quickly did these without really thinking of designs or anything. It really was fun and it isn't hard either.

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  14. Anonymous11/07/2009

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