Friday, June 21, 2013
Dinah Katague's Pottery Projects
The following is an article about my oldest daughter hobby of "neriage" printed in the Contra Costa Times. Have you heard of the word "neriage"?
Walnut Creek artist says more to clay art than meets the eye By Janice De Jesus contracostatimes.com
While she dabbled in sculptures by hand in high school and using the pottery wheel in college, Katague took a long break from clay. But when she embraced the art again eight years ago, she took the art on full force, adopting a technique of staining clay with different colors, layering it and then throwing it all together. Called "neriage," the technique -- first used in ancient Egypt and perfected in early modern Japan -- has given Katague's bowls and vases new life. She and her fellow artists will be displaying work at a garden-themed Clay Arts Guild Spring Sale Friday through Sunday. The garden-art-themed show will feature several artists' work, including planters and wall pots with live plants as well as wall art, wind chimes, bird feeders and houses, fountains, garden sculpture and garden lights.
Pottery, sculpture and dinnerware will also be available, both hand built and wheel-thrown pieces. "I call it my hurricane effect," Katague said of the neriage technique. "I guess I'm in my 'chaos period.' " Still, it is a period where the artist said she feels the calmest. "I notice when I'm throwing clay on the wheel, it's much easier to get into that zone," she said. "I look forward to doing this Wednesdays and Sundays."
Earlier on in her pottery life, the second year she learned how to throw that perfect pot, she remembers sitting at the wheel during open studio feeling so new and inexperienced, she said. "I overworked my pot and one side collapsed," she said. "I was just really mentally and emotionally defeated. At that moment, I was wondering if this pottery thing was a good idea for a hobby. Then a really nice woman came over to me and said, 'Oh, we can fix that.' She proceeded to bend in the other sides to match, added a few little knobs of clay and the once 'destroyed' pot became a beautiful artistic bowl. She looked at me and said, 'Dinah, in art there are no mistakes, just artistic opportunities.' " Since then, Katague has tried to live life with that philosophy learned in pottery class.
The artist credits teacher Lynne Meade for introducing neriage to her work. "A while back I did a one-day demonstration of inlaid colored clay for Dinah's class," Meade said. "Since then she has taken the technique and made amazing progress with it. She's taken it to new places despite technical difficulties and challenges. "She has persevered with her vision even when it seemed too difficult, Meade added. "That, to me, is the mark of a good artist and a great student -- when you give them a tiny seed and they nurture it into a blossoming tree. As a teacher, it is what you hope for and wait for. When you see it, it's always gratifying."
I am proud of your accomplishments, my beloved daughter!