This year I have started to move in a new direction. I've gained my initial teaching qualification and been given the opportunity to teach a weekend workshop at Hive in March next year. I have always been keen to see decoration as an integral part of a ceramic piece rather than an afterthought and with this in mind will be delivering a workshop devoted to coloured clay techniques. I have started preparations and have been busy developing ideas and practising new techniques to make a range of demonstration pieces.
These are some of my experiments with Nerikomi drying out before they are biscuit fired. Nerikomi is a decorative process that involves stacking different coloured clays, and then slicing through the cross section to reveal a pattern, which is then used as an applied decoration. Another name for Nerikomi is millefiori.
The results are a combination of careful planning and accidental surprise. I am fascinated by the way the pattern influences decisions about the final form of the piece as much as the intended form influences pattern choices. I am looking forward to more experimentation with this technique adding texture and exploring the potential of glazing to add depth and interest to the patterns. And there are further techniques to explore such as inlaying and the free and random effects of agate or marbled clay.