PLEASE ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF,

I’M A MAN OF CLAY AND GLAZE

PUSHED MUD AROUND FOR SEVENTY YEARS

OR TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DAYS.

Robin Hopper is a man of many parts, mostly worn out, rusty or dysfunctional, due to a lifetime of excesses! He started working with clay at the age of three and is still doing it over 70 years later. His lengthy, peripatetic career as a mudpusher has included side trips into working as a Professional Actor, Stage Designer, Property Maker, Stage Manager, Stage Carpenter, Grocer, Greengrocer, Jazz Musician, Teapot, Wine and Beer-Bottle, Trumpet, Trombone and Bugle Player, European Travel Guide, Founder of Several Clay/Art/Craft Organizations, Alchemist, Geologist, Primatologist, Linguist, Ornithologist, Botanist, Ceramic Historian, Educator, Author, Garden Designer, Lecturer on Japanese Garden Design, Laborer and Star of Stage, Screen and Potter’s Wheel!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

# 3 NERIKOMI: CLAY VENEER: ZOUGAN




WORKING WITH LAMINATED and 
COLORED CLAYS - Part 3

NERIKOMI is the Japanese name for the process of making patterned blocks of colored clays by variations of cutting and layering. It is a very effective method of creating images that go through the complete block of clay. Nerikomi veneers are often made by taking very thin slices from prepared colored clay blocks and attaching them to a thicker white clay sheet with either water or thin white or colored slip.

CUTTING SLICES FROM SINGLE COLORED CLAY BLOCK


LAYERING THE SLICES FROM THREE COLORED CLAY BLOCKS

MOVING THE COLORED SLICES ONTO OTHER SLICES
CREATING CHEQUERBOARD PATTERN

PUSHING A RULER THROUGH A SIMPLE LAYERED BLOCK
TO CREATE BRACKET PATTERN

PUSHING RULER IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION

AFTER THE  BLOCK IS PATTERNED IT IS BEATEN TO ELIMINATE SMALL
 AIR POCKETS THAT OFTEN OCCUR IN PATTERN FORMING.


Laminated colored clays with a thin black slip applied at the time of lamination.
the work is fired in a wood firing kiln with a very low ash deposit, just a sheen really, on the ware.
COMPLEX PICTORIAL BLOCK-MAKING BY
SUSY SIEGELE AND MICHAEL HALEY OF ARKANSAS

They have been working with colored clay laminating processes for many years, producing a stunning array of functional wares, one of a kind artworks, tiles and murals. 

Colored clays are best made as white clays, followed by the addition of coloring oxides  and thorough blending to eliminate specks of color



The following sequence of images shows the careful attention to detail built into a large tapering block. When the consistency of the clay is suitable, the tapering block is cut vertically across the pattern to produce 8 each of 3 sizes of plate, saucers, bowls and other items down to a salt and pepper cruet at the final end of the block.  These are truly one of a kind dinnerware sets.








Completed, wood sheen fired, slab-built mug by Susy Siegele and Michael Haley.
The through-clay image can be clearly seen on the interior of the mug where it has been coated with a clear glaze and fired at cone 9.

ZOUGAN

The final three images in this posting are 3 views of  a piece 
by Les Manning of Alberta, Canada, titled Rocky Mountain Vase. 
It is made by an unusual Japanese process called ZOUGAN, where clays of different colors and radically different textures 
are stacked and either thrown, as shown here,  or carved into the desired form. Les uses clays from as fine as porcelain to heavily grogged stoneware to suggest the different strata of rocks from foreground to background. The porcelain suggests snowdrifts and mountain mists. To further enhance these qualities, the piece is covered with a light blue/green celadon glaze fired in reduction.
There is much tension from the diverse shrinkages of the contrasting clays and cracking on the seams between clay.  While undergoing some dental work, he noticed that dental amalgam looked like silver. Silver veins between rock strata was the perfect solution to a very annoying problem! A final, light sandblasting 
of the surface softens the visual quality of the glaze to eliminate 
highlights.








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2 comments:

  1. Good morning Robin! What a great post! Thank you. Quite a process for a mug, but what a beautiful mug! More to think about ... and try. Thanks again for sharing and best wishes to you,
    Rudy

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  2. Wow! Amazing imagery with pictorial block making! I have always loved Les' work. Thank you for posting.

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