How to Make a Contemporary Nageire Vase

Make a contemporary version of the Nageire vase, a tall, wide-mouthed bud vase that originated from Japan.


Materials and Tools:

high-fire clay cone 5-6
high-fire glaze cone 5-6
slab roller
kitchen rolling pin
pin tool
scratch tool
cheese slicer
large dowel
spray water bottle
clay template for base
wax resist (optional)


1. Weight and prepare the clay amounts: a 2-pound slab for the base and five ¾-pound slabs for the flower vases

2. For the base, adjust the slab-roller thickness to ¼-inch and roll out a large rectangle for the base of the vase using the 2-pound clay piece.

3. Smooth the clay with a rolling pin and cut the base with a pin tool, creating wavy lines on the long sides and curves on the ends. Smooth the edges with a sponge and water.

4. Flip the clay over and sign your name on the bottom. Flip it back. Spritz with water and set aside.

5. For the vases, adjust the slab-roller thickness and roll out the five smaller slabs to 1/8-inch thick. Cut each clay piece into 7-by-8-inch pieces for the vases.

6. Cut one end of each of the five slabs into wavy lines with a pin tool.

7. Remove the excess clay and smooth the edges of the waves with your fingers.

8. Roll each small slab loosely around a dowel, starting with the straight edge. Score the edges and apply slip. Seal the edges together to form a tube. Remove the dowel. Repeat with the remaining four clay pieces.

9. Trim the bottoms of each tube at an angle with a cheese slicer. Vary the length of each tube.

10. Using a ruler, mark the base for the five spots for the vase tubes.

11. Score the base and bottoms of each tube. Attach the vase tubes to the base. Check the side view to make sure the tubes line up in the desired arrangement.

12. Let the vase dry four to five days to a bone-dry state.

13. Load the vase into the kiln for bisque-firing to cone 05 (1,891 degrees).

14. Remove the vase from the kiln.

15. Wash the vase with clean water and a sponge.

16. Mix the glazes thoroughly. Apply the glaze by pouring it on the insides of the vases and brushing it on the outsides. Clean off the edges and the bottom of piece.

17. Load the vase into the kiln and fire to cone 5 (2,165 degrees).

18. Unload the kiln.

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