Nerikomi Vessels and Patterns for Ritual

My hand holds a patterned ceramic cup above a dense cloud of marigold flowers in early autumn.
Brown and white nerikomi cup with a copper red glaze.

I create ceramic pieces by layering clay bodies into patterns of contrasting colors and textures. This technique is called Nerikomi, a word that comes from Japanese ceramic traditions.

A large block of patterned clay sits on the table. Several small bowls made of patterned clay dry nearby.
Checker patterned nerikomi block. This block uses rough, iron-heavy clay and porcelain.

I make vessels for ceremonial use. I design them to hold offerings. They are tactile and simple, emphasizing natural colors and intuitive forms.

A small square ceramic dish with a nerikomi pattern of contrasting squares hold a hot pepper, a dried flower, and a bundle of herbs for burning.
Soda-fired altar dish in a nerikomi checker pattern with shino-style glaze.
Three oval shaped ceramic dishes. They are a swirl of contrasting clays with a rim of smooth white glaze.
Soda-fired altar dishes in a marbled clay with a white shino-style glaze.

My works are often fired in reduction. I’m interested in atmospheric kilns, like soda and salt kilns. These processes cause variation and create very unique pieces.

Two small, soft, hot peppers rest near two small dishes with a contrasting nerikomi stripe pattern
Soda-fired altar dishes in a nerikomi stripe pattern with a glassy crazed glaze.
A small organic oval-shaped dish with a nerikomi stripe patern.
Soda-fired altar dish in a nerikomi stripe pattern with crazed shino-style glaze.

I prefer simple, shino-style glazes. They give a dynamic response to different clay bodies and firing processes.

A small square tea cup with a contrasting nerikomi checker pattern.
Soda-fired tea cup in a nerikomi checker pattern with white shino-style glaze.
A tall, slanted vase with two openings in a nerikomi checker pattern.
Soda-fired double-vase with a nerikomi checker pattern with a white shino-style glaze.

Recently, I have begun to develop my own glaze recipes using wood ash.

Two ceramic test tiles sit on a table.
Wood ash glaze test tiles. These tests use the the same recipe, but using two different types of ash. Different sources of ash result in huge color variation!


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