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Tips for Making a Large Oval Platter Using a Custom Slump Mold

Posted On March 27, 2015 0 Comments

Slump molds are great for making plates since you can just drop the slab into the mold and not worry about it shrinking around it. They are even better when they are your own homemade mold. In today’s post, an excerpt from Platters: Four Approaches to Making and Decorating Plates, Ben Carter shares some tips on using an easy-to-make slump mold to make a large oval platter.

Handbuilding and Decorating a Platter with Ben Carter

Posted On September 18, 2014 Comments Off on Handbuilding and Decorating a Platter with Ben Carter

If you’d like to make a large platter that isn’t round, using a slab and a slump mold can be just the ticket. Ben Carter makes this mold with insulating foam board, and creates a lovely undulating rim with sewn fabric pouches. Next Ben shares how he decorates the platter with slip, underglaze, and sgraffito, discussing subtle details like placement of motifs to move the eye around the composition to contrasting shiny surfaces with matt. Watching these techniques it is easy to imagine different ways to personalize them – the sky’s the limit!


Two Simple Techniques for Adding Relief Texture and Imagery to Your Pottery

Posted On May 19, 2014 0 Comments
I have seen many potters use tar paper as a pattern making tool, and have seen stencils used to create colorful designs with underglazes or glazes. But in today’s post, they are used slightly differently. Ben Carter explains how tar paper can be cut into a shape or pattern and then pressed into soft clay creating low relief. He also shows how to use stencils to make low-relief with thick slip.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Defining Space with Slip Trailing, Sgraffito, and Underglaze

Posted On November 15, 2013 2 Comments

Ben Carter thinks about design at every stage of the game when making pots. When he is throwing and altering, he is specifically considering the decoration that he will apply later.


In today’s video, an excerpt from his brand spanking new DVD Design for the Soft Surface: Throwing, Handbuilding, and Slip Decorating, Ben shows how he uses slip trailing, sgraffito, and underglaze painting in his work, and explains the thought process in deciding where the marks go. Though Ben works with earthenware at the low end of the firing range, but the colored underglaze technique can be used at any temperature range with a suitable transparent overglaze.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Design for the Soft Surface

Posted On November 8, 2013 0 Comments

In this edition of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, Ben Carter shares his methods for integrating surface design with altered wheel-thrown and handbuilt pottery. Referencing pillows, tufted furniture, and quilts, Carter imbues his pots with softness in a variety of ways—from altering freshly thrown pots to create volume, to stretching soft clay into foam slump molds. Using this overfilled aesthetic as a metaphor for the comfort of southern hospitality, he complements the soft forms with slip and underglaze decoration using sgraffito, slip trailing, and painting techniques.


A Visit to Ben Carter’s Shanghai Pottery Studio

Posted On October 29, 2012 3 Comments

Today I’m excited to let you know about a great new workshop offering from the Potters Council and Ceramic Arts Daily: One-day workshops with master artists. If you’re looking for an in-depth, intimate, inspirational workshop experience, these new workshops are for you (plus they come at a lower price point!). Held at our video studio here in Columbus, Ohio, the first of these workshops, Design for the Soft Surface, takes place January 19, 2013 and features artist Ben Carter. In today’s post, I thought I would share a virtual visit to Ben’s Shanghai ceramics studio so you can get to know him a little better! 


Elevating Earthenware: Dressing up Earthenware with Painted Slips and Sgraffito

Posted On March 12, 2012 0 Comments

Today, Ben Carter tells us all about a cool platter forming technique in which he uses tar paper, slump molds made from insulating foam and hand sewn cloth forms filled with grog. Ben also shares his sgraffito and painted colored slip decorating process.