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These locally-made (right here in Philadelphia!) beads are created with scraps from MVP Studio's larger pieces using a technique called nerikomi, a traditional Japanese technique of layering clay bodies of different colors to create either an agate-like feel or a pattern. In Japan the technique is traditionally used with colored porcelain (the purest body of clay), where each layer is meticulously placed to make a larger pattern. Mackenzie cuts, layers, and wedges selected clay bodies into a new block of clay. Once beads are made they are first fired, glazed, and then glaze fired to highlight the laminated clay bodies in the new beads.
Mackenzie Pikaart is a maker based in Philadelphia PA. Her hand-built, functional ceramic dinnerware and objects are made for everyday rituals /routines, adornment of home and body. In her studio she is able to test out layering techniques, glazes, and patterning. Her work is made in small batches, because of this she is able to focus on each slab of Nerikomi made by layering different clay bodies to create agateware. Every piece is a relative of each other, just like a large family, but no identical pairs are possible due to this layering process.