Does the name Nerikomi sound familiar to you?
Nerikomi, (練り込み) meaning "kneading," is a Japanese term to describe the technique of creating patterns with colored clay. The technique is also called neriage.
Perhaps you have seen one of the many videos being circling around on social media claiming that this art is oddly satisfying to watch?
The other day I sat in on a Nerikomi workshop at the 137° Ceramic Studio in Barcelona. Indeed, this art form is satisfying to watch and really fun to create. There's something refreshing and childlike about combining bold colors and patterns.
Two ceramic teachers teamed up to offer this workshop. REN Ceramica (Ceren) is a Turkish artist who recently moved to Barcelona from Sweden. Atelier Squid (Joanna Ensum) is a British expat who fled the UK during the Brexit mess to find a new place to make her art. Together they offered a four-week course to discover and explore mesmerizing patterns of Nerikomi.
Class began with oohs and ahhs as participants sorted through pictures with examples of Nerikomi ceramic artwork. Artists have used it to make everything from jewelry to tableware.
Next, everyone chose their desired colors from the assortment of colored clays. Pigments were previously added to stoneware clay to create the different colors. Each student started by rolling slabs and coils, combining different colors and shapes to create their desired pattern.
By the end of the class some students had finished plates and others have slabs prepared to continue making their forms in the following class.
The 137° Ceramic Studio offers a variety of ceramic classes and workshops both from resident artists as well as invited guest teachers. Follow @137dgr on Facebook or @137dgr on Instagram to discover more creative workshops!