Yunomi is a Japanese word for beaker – width is narrower than the height. In Japan a yunomi is typically used for tea but you’ll find them ideal for expresso, a sundowner, or any other liquid for that matter. A friend even serves chutney in her yunomi. Yunomis are very very versatile.
I began making yunomi to indulge my coffee habit at home. I prefer smaller serves of milk than a cappuccino. The smaller vessel suits this so much more, as indeed it suits long blacks. Other liquids go well too – think green tea, kombucha, whisky, brandy, liqueurs.
Yunomi sit well in the hand.
Many of my yunomi have a surprise in the foot. I often create a burst of colour only visible when washing up or in the dishwasher. It is a small reward for the chore person.
All are dishwasher- and microwave-safe and withstand daily use and abuse.
Another reason I like to make yunomi is the small size is ideal for experimentation. During the several years I have been making them there are salt and soda-fired ones, slip-decorated ones, Aranda scribbly barks, and more recently, nerikome patterns. The bases have varied over the years too, from simple to quite elaborate.
The recent ones are slab-built, from a range of dark clay, white clay or porcelain, fired to midfire cone 5 and finished with a clear glaze.
Recently I have been using nerikome or neriage techniques. I build a block or “loaf” with layers of variously coloured clays. I then cut a slice from the loaf, which reveals the pattern. The pattern goes right through the clay. This slice becomes the wall of my yunomi, and then I add the foot.
I try to make the whole wall as one single slice of the loaf but you can use smaller repeat pieces of the pattern and roll them together to create the wall.
For more detailed description and images of the nerikome technique see my post Making Nerikome
Variety of bases and feet