There are so many things in the world that can inspire your art — a conversation, a sunset, a walk in the garden — and you want your art to capture that inspiration. This is a video is about how a renowned ceramic artist, Robin Hopper, uses his skills and techniques to translate his ideas into works of art and how you can follow your own path for artistic success.

 

Join Robin as he discusses where his inspirations come from and how he goes about determining the best way to translate his ideas in clay. You’ll see several demonstrations using colored clays and different glaze applications that will offer you an insight into what it takes for you to reach a degree of comfort in your own work.
 

If you’re not sure where to look for inspiration or what to do with it once you’re inspired, then Robin’s demonstration will provide you with a few pointers you can use. 

Run time: 50 minutes

 

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Ideas

Where do ideas come from? Once you have an idea, how do you decide what you need to do to make it into a finished piece that interprets it? These are questions you need to ask yourself and Robin relates how he finds inspiration in his garden. Drawing on the images of flora and garden fixtures, he fills sketchbooks with ideas. But the idea is just one part, so you’ll need to determine what is the best way to interpret your ideas, which is where Robin begins his demonstrations of four techniques he uses in his work.

 

What next?

Robin maintains that the more techniques you have to work with, the easier it is to determine a way to create what you want to in your own way. In his first easy-to-follow demonstration, he shows how to make agate ware (neriage) by combining three colors of clay and throwing the mixture on the wheel. Once leather hard, he then flutes and carves the clay to reveal beautiful patterns where no further decoration is necessary. When you have access to many techniques like this, your options multiply proportionally.

 
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Going with the flow

Robin next demonstrates how to make slipware. This historic decorating technique was very popular in England for several centuries, although it’s seldom practiced now. Using the same clay body, although in liquid form and tinted, you’ll see just how simple and elegant this technique can be, and the possibilities are endless. Related to slip decoration is mocha diffusion, a technique where coffee is added to slip and the alkalinity of the coffee interacts with the acidity of the moist slips to create some striking results.

 

2D in a 3D world

Since Robin also trained as a painter, he understands the urges of two-dimensional artists so he’s developed several techniques to satisfy those needs. First he demonstrates a majolica technique which is basically coating the surface of a bisqued piece with an opaque white glaze then applying colored glazes and stains over it. Robin’s effortless brushwork is both a delight to watch and inspiring because he makes it look so easy!

 

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Porcelain canvas

If your inspiration requires only two dimensions, Robin has a treat for you. He discusses ceramic substrates, materials used in the electronics industry, and how easily you can use them in your own studio. Wafer thin, translucent, and practically unbreakable, this material will delight any traditional painter with its possibilities. Robin demonstrates several techniques using underglaze pencils, underglaze pens, and slips for stunning results.

 

Unlock your experiences

Robin Hopper’s Inspiration & Interpretation is just the DVD to help you to move in a different direction with your work, from the point of conception to your very last stroke of color. It’s inspiring to watch the ease with which Robin, now in his seventies, can draw on so many years of experience and relate the essence of his experience. But the best part is we all have the same capability, and that’s what Robin really tries to convey in this DVD. That’s a bonus for us!