John Quimby Ceramics


About Me

John Quimby writes:

I used to be, for 30 years, a chef and restaurateur. After a

particularly stressful and ultimately unsuccessful new

restaurant start-up, I called it quits.  Casting about for a new form of self-expression, I found myself taking a beginners’ clay class, and something deep clicked.  I had found a new passion, and began to spend more and more time exploring the possibilities of clay.  Early on I became fascinated by the Japanese technique called "Neriage" (meaning literally "to mix"), which employs various methods of combining different colored clay bodies into patterns, from which one builds a pot or vessel.  Unlike more traditional ceramics, which utilize glazes and slips for surface decoration, in Neriage the decoration is built right into the clay which forms the pot.  This little niche of the clay world has now become my primary focus.  I find that I am drawn to natural variations in clays as they are dug from the earth: browns, tans, gray, cream: earth tones, literally.  To this palette I add some blue, black and yellow, as well as iron red.  Although most of my work in ceramics was initially focused on the traditional ware of potters (plates, bowls, mug and vases), I found that the scraps of trimmed patterned clay could be well utilized as buttons!  Having a sister who is a professional button dealer had opened up the wonderful world of button collecting to me, and her willingness to "represent" my buttons at the shows she attended facilitated finding a market for my buttons...  After a while, a shift occurred ...  rather than making buttons out of leftovers from pots, I began making patterned loaves specifically to create buttons, and used the remainder to incorporate into pots, thus the start of my "patchwork" series. It's a fun interplay that I think will keep my busy for


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Nerikomi    Stoneware    Porcelain