& NY Togei Kyoshitsu
Risa is a ceramicist born and raised in New York City. She works out of her own studio, NY Togei Kyoshitsu in Manhattan, and when she's not making pieces, she's usually investing time as a teacher to aspiring ceramicists and as a mentor to budding artists.
Risa is known for her gracious spirit and strong personality, both of which make their way into her work.
Risa has worked with ceramics for over 10 years in a variety of methods and techniques, but her signature is Nerikomi. This is a technique where the clay is first colored before being thoughtfully layered together. Once layered, slabs are sliced and formed into pieces. The results are vibrant and intricate designs that traditional glazing would not permit.
She finishes her pieces with a food-safe clear glaze, often in a crackled pattern.
The video to the left is Risa's clay from her Color Block Series.
Trial and Error
Learning her own version of Nerikomi took years of trial and error - and because her technique is so unique, trial and error is still a part of her practice today.
Risa even has an archive of her pieces from over the years, all of which are physical reminders of valuable lessons. Some pieces had too much texture, some pieces cracked along their layers, and in some, the colored layers bled together.
Risa's not done learning and improving. Even as we talk, she overflows with excitement over the things she's working on next.