Mishima is an ancient carving and slip inlay technique. The precision of incising into the pots surface allows for delicate and very fine lines that can't be achieved with any other technique. This process first appeared in Korea during the Koryo Period.
In my functional work, I first address the form by throwing each piece on the wheel. After the piece is trimmed or altered and in its leatherhard state, I begin to see the form as drawing board, a canvas, a blank page. I explore narrative with my imagery, often incorporating animals, anatomical references, and botanics. With a fine pin tool I incise freehand lines into the pots surface. The fluidity of my carving motions are similar to doodling, drawing, or sketching. I never sketch my surface plan beforehand, but rather allow the throwing lines of the pot, shape, ridges, and sometimes even unplanned glitches in the clay to help guide the carving of my imagery. After the lines are incised I paint the entire piece with a black slip, allowing it to seep into the creviced lines. The slip is wiped away, revealing the image. I begin to decorate, painting and dotting with underglazes. After bisque, clear and halo glazes are applied and fired to a midrange temperature.