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The Beautiful Variations of Chun Glazes

Posted On March 4, 2014 1 Comment

Those who know me know I have a thing for the pale blues and blue-greens. Actually you don’t even have to know me…just look at the CAD color scheme. So it is no surprise that Chun glazes are some of my favorites. In today’s post, an excerpt from his book The Ceramic Spectrum, Robin Hopper explains what makes these glazes so lovely. And he shares a couple of recipes for Chun Glazes.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

These Michael Kline bowls were designed to stack neatly in a cupboard.

10 Questions to Ask When Designing Pottery for Use

Posted On December 18, 2013 16 Comments

Today, Robin Hopper, who wrote the book on functional pottery (quite literally – he is the author of Functional Pottery: Form and Aesthetic in Pots of Purpose), is back again today with ten questions that every functional potter should ask themselves when designing pots for use. Post these in your studio so you remember them every time you make a new pot!


Lichens and Lizards and Leopards, Oh My! Reticulated Glaze Recipes For Wild Ceramic Surfaces

Posted On September 30, 2013 8 Comments

Glazes are sometimes formulated to intentionally crawl and create reticulated surfaces resembling lichens, leopard coats, or lizard skin. Today, Robin Hopper presents a slip recipe and a base glaze recipes for such an effect, and gives examples of this slip and glaze combination with various ceramic colorants added.


Brushwork on Ceramics: A Multitude of Decorative Possibilities for Pottery

Posted On August 5, 2013 10 Comments

Robin Hopper talks about the importance of a good brush and demonstrates one type of maiolica-style on-glaze decoration that can be created on pottery using different colored glazes, a brush and a slip trailer.


How to Correct Five Common Ceramic Glaze Defects

Posted On July 1, 2013 14 Comments

It is especially true in the ceramics world that one person’s fault is another person’s fancy – especially when it comes to glaze “defects.” Many ceramic artists deliberately create faults in their glaze surfaces to achieve a particular aesthetic. But, of course, there are some cases in which a glaze must be perfect for reasons of safety or hygiene. So just in case glaze defects are driving you “craze-y” (sorry, I just couldn’t “resist”), today Robin Hopper gives some expert pointers on how to solve five of the most common pottery glaze problems (such as crawling, shown at left). – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Video of the Week: How to Whack Your Wheel Thrown Pottery into Shape

Posted On May 10, 2013 3 Comments

Everyone who is learning to throw on the pottery wheel has probably had moments when they wanted to give the clay a whack (or throw it across the room). But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a result of frustration. A good thwack can actually be a nice aesthetic touch. In today’s video, Robin Hopper demonstrates how to throw a bowl and then square it off with a paddle to make a great surface for decorating. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


You Say Neriage, I Say Nerikomi…No Matter What You Call it, Mixing Colored Clays Makes for Gorgeous Pottery Surfaces

Posted On April 29, 2013 5 Comments

Today Robin Hopper explains the distinction between neriage and nerikomi, as it was explained to him by Thomas Hoadley, a long time colored clay aficionado. He also explains how to create a lovely marbled rim bowl like the one shown at left.


7 Fun Ways to Decorate with Slips and Engobes

Posted On November 28, 2012 15 Comments

Today, Robin Hopper explains how you can achieve many different types of surface decorations and patterns in a short period of time using only a simple slip trailer. Plus he shares a basic engobe recipe.


Pottery Decorating Video: Using Fiber, Slip and Soft Clay to Make Beautiful Marks on Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture

Posted On April 27, 2012 16 Comments

In this clip, Robin goes over a couple of surface decoration techniques; one involving clay slip and fiber, and the other involving soft clay. As usual, Robin provides an excellent, clear explanation of these nifty little techniques and should inspire you to go directly to your studio at the first opportunity!


Form and Function DVD

Posted On February 25, 2012 0 Comments

This five program series shows how to make a wide range of pots that work well in the home. Each video is full of detailed demonstrations and close-ups of a master potter at work. The series extends and complements Robin’s popular book, Functional Pottery.