History of White/White Translucent Nerikomi 1995~

Dorothy Feibleman started her laminated porcelain expression in 1969 while at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. She exhibited her work in many shows from that time (CV on dorothyfeibleman.com). She moved to the UK in 1973 upon graduation and travelled frequently in Eastern Europe, photographing village crafts and customs for a Children’s Museum she worked at as a volunteer since the age of 10. When she was 17 they paid for her to photograph the crafts in Europe. Her ceramic and gold jewelry and laminated translucent porcelain was purchased in 1981-3 by the Victoria and Albert Museum for the Jewellery and the Ceramic galleries in the Museum. Her translucent nerikomi was in the first Mino Competition in Gifu Japan in 1986. Before she developed the Potterycraft colored porcelain she had been working on white white in the late 1970s-1980s. But she was excited by new color stains available and formulated a range of mixable colors. She first came to Japan in 1993 as a design prize winner at Inax Corporation in Tokoname Japan and showed in Tokyo. In 1996 she attended the IAC meeting in Japan and showed her work in Saga, Japan. Translucent porcelain was not a traditional material used for neriage in Japan or Jiao-tai in China. Some vaguely translucent nerikomi was used for Bankoware teapots but was not used in a translucent way. Anyway,the process was not referred to as nerikomi until Yusuke Aida conjured up the description to refer to his work - as Dorothy entered on Wikipedia - if needed for research reference look at the meta data.
(Asymmetrical translucent nerikomi textured piece above is in the Indianapolis Museum of art) (The translucent textured sake cup above was seen by Matsui Kousei before he bought her DF Potterycrafts porcelain) (Both are not well lit for the camera to read the translucency.) In 1997 she stayed as a guest artist at Togei no Mori in Shigaraki prefecture Japan. One of the White/White Asymetrical pieces she made at Togei no Mori in 1997 was purchased for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC after it had been in the Mino competition. She made other works at Togei no Mori some of which are also in the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic collection in Shigaraki. She made white/white work as well as colored nerikomi (laminated porcelain) on that residency. She also gave a lecture at Togei no Mori (Pottery in the Woods) in 1997 about her colored work and white/white translucent textured and not textured work. In this lecture she detailed her history and development of her white/white expression. She also talked about her study of East European fabric and costume construction and the crafts she documented for the Children’s Museum as well as the leather clothing she sold in high school so that she could travel to Europe to photograph the crafts in villages in Transylvania. She moved to England in 1973 and attended the University of London and studied Hungarian Language in 1975. She travelled to China in 1998 and exhibited her work in the museum in Yixing and and lectured at the Art University in Jingdezhen. She talked about her porcelains she developed and about the Hungarian porcelain containing Czech kaolin and about the feldspars she used in her porcelains. She also lectured in Shigaraki Ceramic Technology Institute in 1998 about her white/ white translucent nerikomi she developed and finally had good results in 1995 in the UK and Hungary. In 1998 she was invited by Yusuke Aida to give a lecture at Tohoku University of Art and Design. In 1999 she was again a guest artist at Togei no Mori and also received a Japan Foundation Fellowship to study the history of Color in Clay in Japan and the West. In 1997 Matsui Kousei (Japanese National Living Treasure) saw her translucent white/white work and he purchased a large quantity of one of her porcelains made by Potterycrafts (since 1983 in 7 colors) in the UK for her and for sale to the public.
She was also a guest artist at the Seto Ceramic and Glass Studio (2000) where she made demonstrations and lectures. From 2000 she has been a guest teacher several times at Tokyo Geidai and travelled to China and Korea with their Ceramic Department. She lectured in China at Tsinghua University in Beijing and Korea National University of Arts, Seoul, Korea and in conjunction, exhibited her work at the National Art Museum in Beijing with other IAC artists and travel. She also researched laminated clay in the USA, Europe, China and Japan between 1998-2004.
Her 1995 & 1997 white/white geometric works (above) made in Europe, were in an exhibition at the Seto Ceramic and Glass Studio in 2000. She gave a lecture and workshop at Ichinokura Sakazuki Art Museum in 2007 after her white white and white white with color gradations translucent work had received several awards in the Taiwan Biennale, Mino, and Izushi competitions in Japan. In this youtube she introduces one of her many methods of making the laminated millefiori porcelain that she has used since 1969 until now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjKCyX4PVwQ She has never been secretive about how she fires and has fired mainly unglazed porcelain in silica sand in saggars or in forms/saggars she makes or on setters. Firing in sand is not a secret Japanese technique. It is used in Britain, in industry, as a standard procedure for certain clays.
It is a method she has been using since 1975 when she discontinued using glaze as a usual finish and changed how she made and saggar fired her porcelain clays.
1975 first unglazed blue and yellow geometric above & 1974 millefiori unglazed both silica sand and saggar fired.
Dorothy's expression of translucent white/white nerikomi porcelain was never in world history previous to 1995 nor was it in Japanese ceramic history until she gave lectures and started working in Japan. Translucent structural color and translucent white/white nerikomi had no history in China or Japan until she took it to Japan from Europe in her suitcase. Kazuko Todate wrote in a Japanese magazine that translucent white/white nerikomi was developed in both countries at the same time but neglected to say that Dorothy was the person developing it in both countries because she was making work in Europe, as well as Japan from 1993 & white white from 1995 onwards. White white translucent nerikomi is her original expression it was & is not generic.
Dorothy developed a new translucent architectural porcelain for Inax (2000~2002) that can fire in one hour in a tunnel kiln. She still uses it with different firing cycles. Before Dorothy developed her translucent white white expression, it was not necessary for her photographers to make mirror photos to explain the translucency. The white white translucency chameleon nature (changing with type of light & direction) is easier to explain to the viewer with mirror images. To explain the type of white/white + color nerikomi details after 1995 especially where the light hits the work, the impression & expression changes. She uses one of whites as the accent where light projected on the line is white and light behind or through the accent changes to gray . To express this before she introduced the mirror type photo, she used two photos. Like in the geometric sake cup below.In daylight you see both easily. The cameras on the new HDR phones see it all.
(this is the same geometric piece light on light through using an SLR camera and film) She was using her using her methods to make work before she was aware of there being Chinese pictographs and Japanese Kanji to describe a similar method similar to how she works. She has always also been open about how she works with two or more white porcelains. She puts aniline dye or food coloring into her batches of porcelain she makes so that she can know which materials were used and she can see what she is doing when she laminates them together. Her main dye colors when she demonstrates are pink or green but she uses others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Byn7O_B_uHI
Demonstration at Canberra University, Australia 2004 White/White demonstration using aniline dye so she can see the patterns of the whites. This dye burns out in the firing. She almost always uses green and pink but sometimes purple and yellow aniline dyes depending on how many whites she is using Porcelain manufacturers in Europe differentiate types of white clays this way so they know which clay is for turning, casting, handles or flowers. She colors with aniline so she can laminate two whites. No one needed to use aniline dye for making white/ white nerikomi before her, because she was the originator of this expression.She experimented before that earlier in the late 70s early 80s but, went on to develop colored clay for sale by Potterycrafts. Her first successful white/white pieces were made in 1995 in Hungary. She does not use any secret Japanese techniques to create her expression. She developed her processes herself after she saw and bought glass beads in the Berger Bead Museum in Los Angeles in 1967.
Berger bead purchase. This museum no longer is open. She was inspired by Italian glass beads used as currency in Africa but was working in clay in 1969 and figured how to make similar laminating/caning/millefiori/marquetry/marbling imaging in clay. She has almost always made very precise images using at least 2~-80 porcelain color gradations. First she made beads then larger objects.
Dorothy’s first beads 1969~70.
In 1969, there were few books on glass caning techniques so she figured out how to make images in clay that were similar to making images in glass by herself. Another student at her university was throwing marbled clays and he gave her his clay to use for her handbuilt millefiori when he lost interest. In 1971 her teacher showed her a book by Herbert Saunders about Japanese ceramics with a similar piece to her first small dish but imaging not as controlled as hers and in the book it was called neriage. She later used the description nerikomi because she was working in Japan and Yusuke Aida gave her an award and called her work Nerikomi so when she gave lectures in Japan she said she constructed her work like nerikomi because most Japaese potters were familiar with that description of using more than one color of clay to construct an object. If you want more historic and technical detail about white/white refer to earlier post http://nerikomi.blogspot.jp/search/label/Lecture