Neriage and Nerikomi are two ceramic techniques that have been used for many years by various ceramicists. Although the terms Neriage and Nerikomi are used interchangeably they are very different. Neriage is done on a potter’s wheel and means that the clay is being mixed and pulled up as it is thrown where as Nerikomi is done by hand and by pressing clay into a mold. Both methods are done with colored clays which are usually earth tones such as grey, reds, blues, and beige. Neriage and Nerikomi both originated from Japan and other areas of Asia where they have been practiced for a period of time.
Neriage means to pull up and mix. This is what creates the pattern of colors within the clay. Two different color clays are mixed together to try and imitate the look of agate; that is why is it also called agateware. Agate is a variety of quartz that comes in a variety of colors. Neriage was brought into America and Europe in the twentieth century by the Mingei. The founder of the Mingei was Yanagi Soetsu. Mingei means art of the people and was an art movement in Japan. The goal was to create basic art made by ordinary people that still had an artistic flair.
Nerikomi means to mix and press into. Nerikomi is done by hand rather than on a wheel. The same concept of mixing is used in Nerikomi as in Neriage. It is made by mixing metal oxides and stains into the clay to give it it’s color. The clay is then shaped into logs and then molded into forms. Each form is molded to a uniform thickness and an identical pattern is created on each side of the form. Nerikomi began in the Tang Dynasty in the seventh century and has been practiced by the Europeans and Egyptians. This technique is very complex but is very down to earth in the making process. It is made by hand and is very traditional. Nerikomi is a very difficult process but the end result is beautiful.
Various artists throughout time have used these techniques. Matsui...
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