Thursday, May 17, 2012


While Jeff was away in South Korea I read the Newberry Award winning children's book, " A Single Shard"by Linda Sue Park. A customer recommended the book to me and being a big fan of children's lit, I had to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed the story which wove a tale of the introduction of inlay work to South Korea in the mid to late 12th century.
As you know, Jeff came home with lots of little pots. Many with sgraffito designs and a few with porcelain inlay, also known as Mashima. He chose these pots because he knew that the carving and inlaid designs would inspire me...
I did some reading online as well as referring to my "go to" book for surface decoration, "Surface Design for Ceramics" by Maureen Mills. Maureen is the head of the ceramics department at the NH Institute of Art. I decided to try two methods of inlay. First was from Maureen's book, using a slip trailer to inlay the porcelain into my carved designs:

This worked best for vases which needed to be trimmed prior to the inlay. It was easy to clean up the excess slip with a scrubby but I did have some issues with the porcelain and stoneware drying unevenly.

Next I did some tiles where I carved them when moist and applied the slip with a brush immediately after:

Once the tiles were almost dry, I used a scrubby to remove the excess slip and reveal the inlay pattern:

This method was quickest for applying the porcelain slip and for the most even drying of the two clays, but it was a lot of work to clean up. I am not a fan of creating so much dust, I did it outside and really should have worn a mask. It was so darn humid today that I couldn't bring myself to wear one.
I am going to try two different glazes on these. Temple white, which is a translucent glaze and Celadon.

Jeff and I also collaborated on this little teapot...

Korean teapots are very small... this one fits in the palm of your hand. It was quite challenging to carve a design into!
Jeff may have been the one that made the trip to Korea, but his visit has inspired us both!


  1. Wow your mishima work looks fantastic

  2. For the tiles, or slab built things, you could try laying the design out in porcelain coils and rolling the slab over it.

  3. beautiful work. Shared inspiration is good

  4. thanks all for the nice feedback!
    Robert- I wonder if I would lose a crisp line with rolling the slab over coils? I am going to give it a try. A distorted design might turn out really cool.

    The next vases that I do I think I will try the coil method of inlaying the design. It is more time consuming but I think there will be less chance of voids in the design.

  5. I love the little teapot, it's super sweet.
    I normally wipe off the inlayed slip with a wet natural sponge to eliminate the dust issue.

  6. Lori, I was worried that a damp sponge might blur some of the porcelain with the stoneware. Do you sponge it off when the piece is dry or do you do it earlier?


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