Tony Clennell tells about Bruce Cochrane: Up in Canada. Bruce uses thrown parts to create some of his elegant serving pieces, including 20-inch long narrow covered dish made from thrown parts and slabs. Fong Choo creates amazing Teapot Gems, and he provides clear instruction on creating these small jewels. The secret to the gem-like look is in using cone 6 glazes covered by cone 06 glazes and fired to cone 6. If you’ve ever tried to work with porcelain, you know the challenges.
Antoinette Badenhorst demonstrates some helpful techniques for Working with Porcelain from throwing basic forms through trimming work inside and out. Rebecca Coffman’s Spirited Vessels bring out the characteristics of unfired moist clay in the glaze-fired ware. In developing this work, she found the whole process from clay preparation through final firing both humbling and exhilarating. Using a combination of throwing and handbuilding, Annie Chrietzberg is able to say ‘Down with Round Brown’. With her Ewer Bizarre piece, she ably demonstrates altering a thrown ring and applying textured slabs.
Gabriel Brubacher has his students at Notre Dame do an assignment making Altered Shapes. If you follow the instructions, you’ll see why this is an effective assignment for experimentation and expressing yourself. Doug Gray teaches his students how to throw jars with No-Measure Lids. His assignment teaches students how to throw and trim but it also requires a degree of control and skill. Craftsmanship is immediately revealed when a lid is cut into a closed form.
Working on large forms is something like Taming the Dragon. Alan Frewin makes large garden pots and decorates them with ornate dragons using a sprigging technique. He describes each step of both techniques. Kathy Chamberlin finds that Pulling Long Handles, along with decorative knots, adds a unique personal style to her baskets. Inspired by Chinese and Japanese woven baskets, her demonstration will help you improve your handles.
If you’d like to tackle making pieces that fill the kiln, here’s help. Kirk Mangus updates an ancient form by Making Tall Amphoras, which he does in sections. There are five pieces altogether, and the final form begs for your surface treatment of choice. Jim Connell uses unusually shaped plywood forms for his Asymmetrical Handbuilding. By using a thick wall construction method, he’s able to heavily contour the surface with Surform tools. Certainly a break from the limitations of the wheel.
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