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.