Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mishima/ wax inlay



How to:
Cover a leather hard piece with wax resist. This technique ony works well on leather hard clay, too wet and the wax takes too long to dry, plus you risk squishing your piece, too dry and the wax will flake off as you are drawing.  In the video I am using Forbes wax which I find to be the easiest to work with for this technique.  It dries fast and is slick, not sticky when it dries.  I have also used Mobile Acer wax, but I find this too sticky to work with happily.
Once the wax is dry use a sharp tool to incise your design.  In the video I am using a needle tool because it creates the line width I wanted for this particular drawing.  I have used many different tools depending on what line weight I want, from an X-acto knife to a nut pick.  Anything that will smoothly cut through the wax will work.  Make sure you have cut all the way through the wax or you will lose that part of your drawing.
Once you are done cutting, coat the piece in the color of slip/ underglaze you want to use.  It will bead up on the wax.  As soon as you are done painting you can wipe it off easily.  I find it easier to wipe off when it is still wet, but you can leave it there indefinitely and it will still come off with a damp sponge.
If you want a multi colored drawing all you need to do is re-coat the piece with wax, and then follow the same steps you did the first time.  There is probably a limit to how many layers you can do and still be able to easily cut through the wax.  It will get thicker with each layer.  The most I have done is 5, and I had no problems with that whatsoever.


History:
The Mishima name may be 17th century, but the style itself goes back to Korea's Koryo Period (935-1392) when bowls decorated in this way were known as Korai-jawan or Korai tea bowls. These 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 12th-13th-century Koryo celadons, deemed "first under heaven." It's also referred to as zogan. Another inlay style is called 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.