What is Nerikomi?
To create my Nerikomi pieces, I add Mason Stains to my porcelain to make the various colors I need. I make patterns by layering different colors, stacking and slicing them in various ways to form patterns or pictures in a length of clay called a cane. A cane is a log of clay that’s made with a design that runs the entire length of the log. Slices from the cane will reveal a design and all slices from the cane will have identical designs. A cane can be reduced by squeezing and compressing it, which makes the cane smaller in diameter and therefore the design is smaller as well. Clay canes are similar in concept to murrine, which are glass canes used in traditional Venetian glassworking (such as in millefiori glass.)
I can also more simply stack pieces together randomly and cut slices off that for a terrazzo effect or I can wedge the clay a few times to marbleize the pattern.
These processes can be lovely by themselves or they can be combined with other surface design processes such as mishima (inlaid clay), stamping, and sprigging (molded shapes in porcelain affixed to a larger piece, such as is seen in Wedgewood ware).
Get to Know the Austin Artist: Katy David
Working with porcelain and stoneware, gouache and eggshells, I create work that asks the viewer to participate by imagining themselves immersed in a fantastical landscape of color, line and texture. I explore how meaning can emerge from pattern, using color as a guidepost. Detail and repetition are important facets of my artistic practice. The imperfection of the handmade is integral because while I strive to create copies, there are inevitably differences emerge that are inherent in creation. Each is the same; each is different. This creates an interesting dichotomy and a compelling viewing experience, one that invites deeper study of the piece both as a physical object and as a representation of the importance of each individual as a part of the whole.