Handbuilding with clay offers a unique opportunity to experiment, requires few tools, and allows your intuition and imagination to come to the fore. In this overview of the most popular of ceramic forming methods, artist Claire Loder explains the time-honored methods of handbuilding, as well as introducing a fascinating array of new approaches of contemporary ceramicists.

 

Softcover | 128 Pages
Order code CA131 | ISBN 978-1-57498-334-0

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Beyond the basics

In this book you’ll find techniques from coiling and pinching to working with slabs explained with practical instructions and helpful accompanying images. Equipment, clay bodies and studio advice are thoroughly covered. Through the work of today’s ceramic artists, Claire looks at new methods of building by hand, including mixed media, sculptural methods, vessels, and surface decoration, illuminating a wide variety of forms and styles.

 

A fresh look
If you’re looking for a creative outlet, nothing beats handbuilding. Whether you choose to pinch pots, coil vessels, or construct items with soft or hard slabs, there are so many ways to create anything your mind can think of. Claire’s take on the many facets of handbuilding include the basics, but goes beyond that with such innovative techniques as digging a hole in the ground for a mold or carving away at large blocks of clay to sculpt. And then there’s Susan O’Byrne’s 4-ft. high goat made from paperclay tubes and a nichrome wire armature that indicates not many boundaries exist!

 

 

Inspiration everywhere
The biggest part about handbuilding and sculpting is really just getting inspired and finding your creative way. Claire takes a look at what inspires different artists and provides suggestions to get you moving on your way. By exploring a variety of techniques—drawing, painting, digital tools, sketchbooks, photography, models and maquettes—you’re sure to experience  some unexpected discoveries that will make it difficult to leave the studio.

 

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The right techniques
Understanding a technique is one thing, but knowing which technique is best for what you want to make is where skill and experience come in. Using examples from current artists, Claire explores what these artists make and the processes they use whether they’re constructing vessels or sculptures. She includes discussions of surface treatments, textures, colored clays, slip, combining materials and techniques, and adding found objects.

 

The essential guide

Sculpting and Handbuilding is an essential guide for any ceramic artist or student wishing to learn the basics of handbuilding, or seeking inspiration to integrate and adapt conventional methods. Full of images and ideas, this book is like an atlas of creativity just waiting to be explored.

 

About the Author

I came to ceramics from painting and to painting from illustration. I still find myself painting and drawing, but now in ceramics, making touchable objects with materials that excite me more than acrylic and board ever did.

 

My creative life has always been about empirical exploration. This, combined with that fact that I’m an interloper in the world of ceramics, has made the writing of this book a curious experience. I want to say, ‘do your own thing, explore, experiment’, but I remember my own first fumblings with clay and the search for those little pieces of information that made the world of difference.

 

Having been on the receiving end of ‘No, this is how it should be done’, one time too many during my art education, I’m a firm advocate of open exploration. This is not to diminish the importance of discipline or the gaining of essential skills that lead to the making of remarkable work. It’s more to do with embracing an open way of thinking rather than a prescriptive way of doing.

 

Hopefully this book is a balance of the tried and tested, with enough inspirational case studies and words of encouragement to motivate you to try your own thing.

 

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