I’ve been working with Nerikomi for the past 5 years, adding this disciplined design process to my work. Hopefully, sharing the methods I learned through the years will interest others in this process.
I’ve been very inspired by Curtis Benzle, Vince Patelka, and Dorothy Fieblemann. There is much information about their process on the internet. Their generosity in sharing their process on the internet has fueled a strong interest in adding color and design to my typically “quiet” pots.
My personal exploration working in colored clay began, though, years ago at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, admiring the work of Cate Fetterman. Cate made plates, and tables, lampshades and other forms in cone 6 porcelain. Cheerful, dynamic color work.
My 4 year old son and I made modest plates using her methods.
Reaquainting myself with colored clay, 5 years ago, and using Cate’s process of applying sliced colored clays to a slab of porcelain, and forming the slab into pots, ignited once again, a joy of colored patterning.
I then began to make colored slabs of clay, cutting the clay using pattern templates and constructing them onto plaster forms with dart and tuck techniques to make round vessel forms like teapots and vases.
Using methods I discovered from Vince Pitelka’s instructions on the internet, I began to make thin slices of nerikomi and apply them directly onto thrown forms.
Adding nerikomi porcelain designs to stoneware fired in the wood kiln has created a new dimension for this type of work. The warmth of wood firing combined with the delicacy of nerikomi is a path I want to continue to explore.