John Quimby Ceramics

 

John Quimby writes:

 


    Nerikomi is a Japanese term which means "hand-building with colored clay" . Hand-building covers a large swath of ceramic techniques, including rolling and slicing slabs, coiling, pinching, and sculpting.  It is distinctly different from throwing pots on the potters wheel.

    The colored clay part refers to another point of difference- rather than finishing a pot or vessel with a glaze or glazes, in colored clay work the clay body itself is colored, either by natural variations in the composition of the clay as it is dug out of the ground, or, by the addition of various mineral colorants, such as cobalt or chromium, to achieve hues of blue or green. 

    Different colored clay bodies are combined and manipulated to create a pattern or design in a block or "loaf" of clay.  By slicing into the block with a very fine wire, the internal pattern is revealed, and slices of this patterned clay can be formed over molds, or, if allowed to dry to the "leather hard" state, built into geometrical vessels.

    The patterned slices can also be "veneered" onto a slab of a single colored clay, providing structural stability.

    The Japanese have developed a wide variety of traditional techniques for creating specific patterns in the colored clays, many of which I utilize in my own work.  And over time I have developed my own approaches and techniques that hopefully express my preference, seeking order and geometry that is infused with an unpredictable random energy all of it's own.



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"Nerikomi"

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