Friday, July 1, 2011
Every time I experiment with clay the new piece becomes my new favorite. How about you, do you find that to be true with new things? New shoes, new recipe, new book, new plant in the garden? Today I inlaid white stoneware clay into an iron rich red stoneware clay for this serving platter which is about 12 x 10 inches. I've used this inlaid technique before, but with high fire clays. The last two photos are examples from a few years ago.
I never know if the two clays will be compatible until I fire the piece. This piece will have to dry and then be bisque fired, then glaze fired and if it turns out then I make more and wait for them to dry, fire them and so on. So new clay designs can be a long process from the concept to the end result of a successful piece.
Originally I thought this technique was called nerikomi but with nerikomi two different clays are layered one on top of another then cut up and a piece is made with the melded clays. With this method the color of the contrasting clay shows on the inside and outside, it goes all the way through. Then I thought this might be mishima, but with mishima the design is carved into the clay and then slip is put in the carved or cut out section.
For my inlaid clay I roll out a slab and then I take the contrasting clay and roll it in thin strips and 'paint' with those strips directly on the clay. Then I roll the the two clays to embed one clay into the other. The contrasting clay only shows on one side. If the two clays shrink at similar rates then the design will become one with the background. If one clays shrinks more than the other, either the clay will pop out or the design might shrink more than the background clay and leave a gap.
I hope the platter works out since it's my new favorite piece. The white strips of clay were very thin till I rolled them into the other clay. They almost look like ribbon embroidery to me now. I remembered to say white rabbit this morning, yippee. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Fourth of July. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.