Nerikomi is a technique for creating patterns with colored clay in ceramic art or pottery. As a master of this technique Japanese native, Tomoko Konno, expresses herself both externally and internally as a ceramicist whose art crosses all cultural boundaries and has found a new home at Jenggala in Bali.
STORY BY: Dewald Haynes PHOTO BY: Jenggala Doc.
Nerikomi is a contemporary Japanese term., yet this ‘marbling’ ceramic technique was used in ancient Egypt, during the Tang Dynasty in 7th century China and even by the the Romans. Early ceramics in the Stoke-on-Trent used more than one color of clay for decorative effect. In England this was referred to as ‘agateware’. In Japan there are a few pieces from the Momoyama period, and Edo, as well as Mingei and it was there that an explosion of it occurred from about 1978–1995 due probably to Aida Yusuke’s advertising and to Matsui Kousei who refers to his work as neriage. The term actually started being used in the 1970s to describe related kanji Neriage. Yusuke Aida was on a television commercial for Nescafé and it seems to have entered the vocabulary at about that time when his nerikomi coffee cups were available to the first people who contacted the advertisers.