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Matt Jones sitting on the ware bed of his 600-cubic-foot wood-burning kiln with a large jug and an umbrella stand, 2008.

Seriously Playful: The Pottery of Matt Jones

Posted On October 20, 2010 37 Comments

Today’s post highlights the pottery of Matt Jones, Using local materials and decorative traditions, Matt’s work pays homage to the time when pottery played an important role in survival. Even the tools he uses exemplify this reverence for “our collective pottery past” as he puts it. Take, for instance “The Crusher,” Matt’s super low tech and incredibly brilliant homemade device for crushing old bottles into powder for his glazes. Matt explains how it works, and we have a video of it in action! So cool! He also shares a couple of glaze recipes.

Serving bowl, 10 in. (25 cm) in diameter, thrown, carved and dotted porcelain, fired  to Cone 10 in reduction, 2007, $160.

Addition and Subtraction: Slip Trailing and Carving for Raised and Recessed Surface Decoration

Posted On May 12, 2010 15 Comments

To fully integrate the glazes with the form and surface, Emily Reason adds texture through both additive and subtractive methods. Today I am presenting an explanation of her slip trailing and carving techniques. We’ll also show you the homemade tool she uses to create the “pleats” on her pots.


GraphicPower: Terry Gess Makes His Mark

Posted On October 7, 2009 0 Comments

Over the past thirty years, Terry Gess has developed a
personal logic that allows him to engage fully with the world around him. The
short version of the story is this: Whole life, whole potter. The long version
has to do with learning how to see, touch, and hear the nuances of daily life,
then intuit a light-handed, rich response through clay.

Kenneth Baskin: 20th Century Artifacts

Posted On October 7, 2009 1 Comment

Developing techniques he still uses today, Baskin fired some pieces up to five times to achieve a certain effect. The first, and highest, firing is always in an atmospheric kiln for a spontaneous, natural looking surface. Adding silicon carbide to slips, Baskin accomplishes a gritty, textured surface. Additional layers of glazes and a black wash fired at lower temperatures complete the design

Daniel Johnston Dreams Big

Posted On September 15, 2009 0 Comments

Daniel Johnston does not blush about his humble beginnings, nor will he turn his back on the historical influences that shaped who he is today. In fact, by way of introduction, he insists on announcing his genealogy in clay. “I have been trained in the Leach, Cardew and Hewitt school of making pots,” his artist statement and our interview begin. Bernard Leach is widely recognized as the grandfather of studio pottery in the United States and Michael Cardew was Leach’s student. From 1997 to 2001, Johnston apprenticed with Mark Hewitt, a student of Cardew’s. As Johnston began to navigate from 
these influences toward a voice of his own, an additional triumvirate of geographical influences came together: England, Thailand, and North Carolina.

Working Backwards: Liz Zlot Summerfield

Posted On May 22, 2009 1 Comment
with Cut Paper Templates by Liz Zlot Summerfield Avocado Floral and Striped Butter Dish, 6 in. (15 cm) in length, handbuilt earthenware, terra sigillata, glaze, fired to cone 04 in oxidation, luster, 2008.   Cream, Sugar and Milk Set with Brick, 12 in. (30 cm) in length.   Floral and White Striped Box, 3 ½… Read More »