Vessel With Inlaid Multicolor Glazes (Saiseki zogan utsuwa)
Editor's Note: This resource can be used in conjunction with the lesson Contemporary Clay: Japanese Ceramics for the New Century.
Eiko Kishi invented the technique used to create this piece, which she calls “colored inlay” (saiseki zōgan). This technique is her primary method for making ceramic artwork, and she has been using it since 1984. Kishi begins this process by mixing wet clay with small fragments of ground, hardened clay. She then molds the form of the piece and shallowly cuts a pattern into the surface of the form using a needle or engraving knife. Before firing, these crevices are filled with more fragments of ground clay, raw pigment, and glazes. Kishi has said that she enjoys utilizing this process because the finished effect is reminiscent of stone, yet the works still retain the properties of ceramic objects. It can take several months for her to complete a piece like the one shown here. Kishi most often works by creating two pieces simultaneously. She describes her process as a type of experimentation through trial and error, and explains that it is continually evolving.
Vessel With Inlaid Multicolor Glazes (Saiseki zōgan utsuwa). 2001, stoneware, 27 1/2” x 17 x 5 -- Eiko Kishi, Kyoto, 1948-.