What is the Mishima technique?

The Mishima technique, also known as “inlay” or “slip inlay,” is a ceramic decoration method that involves incising or carving designs into the surface of clay and filling the carved lines with contrasting colored slip or underglaze. The technique creates intricate and visually striking decorative elements on ceramics.


The Mishima technique involves the following steps:

  1. Begin with a leather-hard or slightly firmer clay surface.
  2. Using fine carving tools, incise the desired design into the clay surface. The design can be intricate patterns, lines, or imagery.
  3. Prepare a contrasting colored slip or underglaze.
  4. Apply the slip or underglaze to the incised lines, ensuring they are completely filled.
  5. Gently scrape off the excess slip or underglaze from the surface using a flat tool.
  6. Allow the piece to dry to a state where the slip is still damp but not wet.
  7. Gently wipe the surface with a damp sponge to remove any remaining slip or underglaze from the surface, leaving the filled lines intact.
  8. Bisque fire the piece to the recommended temperature.

Visual Impact

The Mishima technique creates a visually stunning effect where the incised lines are highlighted by the contrasting color, resulting in intricate and beautifully detailed decoration.


The Mishima technique can be used on various ceramic forms, such as pottery, vessels, tiles, and sculptures, to add depth, texture, and unique visual appeal.


The Mishima technique offers ceramic artists a creative way to enhance their pieces with intricate and captivating surface designs, making it a popular and versatile decorative method in ceramics.

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