NERIAGE - PORCELAIN
NERIAGE - a technique with infinite possibilities for variation
Dr. Brigitta Neumeister-Taroni, Zurich, extract from an article in the magazine "Neue Keramik"
This Swiss ceramist with Italian roots that still influence her today is one of very few Western ceramists who have devoted themselves entirely to the ancient Japanese neriage technique and have still managed to find their own individual style at the highest level. She has been rewarded with numerous prizes as a result, including, among many more, the 2005 Bronze Award at the 7th International Ceramics Competition Mino in Japan.
Neriage is a Japanese technique in which variously coloured porcelain bodies are rolled out into slabs, joined together with slip, cut into strips and then reassembled before they are finally fired. It is as varied as it is complex in its expressive force. From this broad spectrum, Angela Burkhardt-Guallini has developed an individual, personal style to perfection, single-mindedly pursuing her path. The main characteristics are clear geometric patterns, a restricted palette, contemporary yet timeless forms and a smooth, warm surface. This reduction that she has consciously developed allows her to concentrate on essentials.
In neriage ceramics, there is no brushwork. The upper and lower surfaces of a piece are thus the same. But, as Angela Burkhardt- Guallini says, it is one of the most exciting moments of her work when she lifts a new piece from the mould in which it has dried for the first time: this is as if she meets a different face from the one that she has accompanied with great care and attention throughout the drying process.
With Neriage ceramics, nothing is painted on, so the top and bottom of the ware are the same. She works exclusively with the finest porcelain from Seto, Japan. Angela Burkhardt-Guallini colours the porcelain clay herself using various colorants. After preparing, shaping and drying her work, she fires it several times until the final firing at 1250 degrees. In between she grinds with ever finer means, finally it is only a gentle polishing with diamond grinding pads.