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Common Techniques


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This page is not
comprehensive. It
presents only a
small number of
the most common

Contact us
with your request
to include other
techniques not
shown here.


Fukuzumi. Blown ink technique.

Hakeme. White slip that has been applied with a stiff brush. A Hakeme-de is a chawan brushed with white slip.

Haritsuki. Small mould impressions on clay.

Hidasuki. Scarlet red "fire cord" markings from straw that was wrapped around a pot and burned off in the kiln. Found mainly on
Bizen wares.

Hikidashi Guro. Pulled out black from the kiln;
see black chawan.

Hima. A place where glaze has not been applied in order to highlight the natural quality of the clay.

Ikomi. Curved forms. Celebrated as a delicate technique, Ikomi is a thoroughly modern technique within ceramic history. Unpredictable curved forms caused during firing play a fundemental role in the Ikomi process.

Inlay and Reverse Inlay Technique. Slip inlay technique developed in Korea. See "Korai Jawan" below or
Mishima ware.

Ishihaze. A "stone explosion." Before firing, many of the impurities of the clay are removed. But some potters like rougher clay, and leave in small stones that sometimes burst out on the surface during firing - called ishihaze. Often found on
Bizen and other yakishime (high-fired unglazed stonewares).

Kakiotoshi. Sgraffito.

Katagami. Stencils.

Kawakujira. Found mainly on
Karatsu wares - an iron band is drawn around the lip - said to resemble whale's skin.

Kan'nyu. Crackling effect often found on celedon.

Koge. "Scorch" markings found on
Ki-Seto and Iga wares.

Korai Jawan (inlay and reverse inlay). Decorative style that goes back to Korea's Koryo Period (935-1392). Korai-jawan (tea bowls) were inlaid with various motifs such as floral and animal depictions. A potter would incise the design in the body, fill it in with contrasting colored clay or slip and then cover it with a transparent glaze. This technique peaked in Korea in the celadons of the 12th and 13th century, which were deemed "first under heaven." This style is also referred to as zogan or kirei-sabi. See
Mishima Style for more.

Kushime. Engraved or combed.

Me or  Me-ato. Spur marks left on a pot after stacking in a kiln.

Mentori. Faceted wares. See also "Shinogi."

Migaki. Burnishing.

Mishima. Designs carved off a white slip.

Mishima-de. Inlaid chawan. See "Korai Jawan," or Mishima.

Nagashigake. Slip trailing.

Neriage or Nerikomi. Marbled wares.

Nunome. Cloth textured wares.

Oxides. Potters mix metal oxides with water and apply this solution to the clay surface in varying amounts, then rub it off. The resulting effect is similar to stained wood; most common stain is iron oxide (rust).

Reverse Inlay. This is where the potter cuts away the background, leaving the design in relief, then the background is brushed over with a slip and the excess is scraped away. Technique originated in Korea. See "Korai Jawan" above.

Ronuki. Wax resist.

Saiseki Zogan. Patterns stiched in clay.

Shinogi. Minegishi Seiko. Carving of deep lines into bisqued-fired ware before applying a thick seiji (celedon) glaze. The sharply cut low relief ridges allow for the glaze to pool and form concentric circles.

Slip. Fine, liquid clay that is applied to the clay surface prior to firing; slip helps fill in surface pores and yields uniform colors.

Suana. Nest holes, or small pinholes, normally found on
Shino ware. Also called "yuzuhada."

Tataki. Paddled wares.

Tobigana. Chatter markings.

Tsutsugaki. Slip trail decoration.

Yobitsugi. Grafting of shards from different styles onto one piece.

Yohen or Youhen. Literally means "changed by the fire/flame." Yohen refers to changes in the kiln that cause the glaze to run during firing. Sometimes this is called a "hares-fur" effect. Yohen also refers to the build-up of ash on the kiln floor and the natural glazing brought about by this ash, resulting in deep blues, browns, and reds -- often seen on yakishime ware, like
Bizen, and on Temmoku.

Yubi-ato. Finger impressions left after a potter has glazed a piece - often found on
Shino wares.

Yubigaki. Finger wipe decorations.

Yuteki. An oil-spot effect that occurs when there is an overload of iron oxide which is allowed to cool slowly and forms effulgent spots on the surface. Found most often on
Temmoku ware.

Yuzuhada. Citron skin; see "Suana" above.

Zogan. See "Korai-jawan" above. Also called Kirei-sabi.



Mingei Piece by Shimaoka Tatsuzo
Inlay (Slip Inlay)

Ishihaze, Tsubo (Jar) by Yaki Kazuo




Oribe Piece by Kato Yasukage

Mishima Oke at the Tokugawa Museum

Neriage (Marbled Ware) by Matsui Kosei

Saiseki Zogan by Kishi Eiko
Saiseki Zogan

Celedon Mizusashi by Minegishi Seiko

Red Shino Chawan by Suzuki Osamu



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