Egyptian paste or faience is a low-fire mixture of ceramic materials containing clay, sand, colorants, frits, and soluble salts. These salts effervesce to the surface along with water as the paste slowly dries, forming crystals, which create a self-glazing clay-glaze hybrid once fired. Deborah Sigel was intrigued by the properties of Egyptian paste the opportunity to “build sculpturally with color” and today, in an excerpt from the March/April 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Mary Cloonan explains Deborah’s interesting process and beautiful results.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
The malleability of clay makes it possible to bend and shape in into any shape imaginable. But as we all know, this malleability can also present challenges. In today’s post, an excerpt from Sculpting and Handbuilding, Claire Loder gives some sculpting tips and shares a couple of techniques from two ceramic sculptors.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Support Systems: What it Takes to Make Lightweight Wheel Thrown, Altered, and Assembled Ceramic Sculptures
Making thin, curved walls out of clay requires support throughout the process. In today’s post, Wouter Dam explains how he uses foam swimming pool floats for
support during construction, and customized clay supports to get the pieces through the firing.
Helen Gilmour is interested in the relationships between traditional crafts. So she decided to make traditional pottery forms – like teapots and bowls – that look like they are knitted. The result is a form that at first glance appears soft, but on closer examination has the fired strength of porcelain. In today’s post, Helen explains the process she came up with to make these delicate looking vessels. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
We have one of Lars Westby’s platters hanging here in our office (acquired as a Ceramic Monthly Purchase Award from the Strictly Functional Pottery National a few years back), and I love it. I keep lobbying to have it moved closer to my office (to no avail). Anyway, when we got it, I added ceramic wall pieces to my list of things I want to experiment with in the studio. Like many things, making ceramic wall pieces got pushed to the back burner, but now that I have seen Lars’ article in the December 2012 issue of Ceramics Monthly, I have a renewed interest. In today’s post, Lars explains how he makes his sculptural platters.
I realized that we were really due for a sculpture post here on CAD, so today I am featuring the work of Christie Brown. This post doesn’t only pertain to sculpture though. Christie’s techniques could easily be adapted for functional work. In today’s post, an excerpt from Ceramics and the Human Figure, Edith Garcia explains Christie’s how Christie makes her molds from Styrofoam models and then press molds and assembles her work.
Today, in an excerpt from her new book Wall Pieces, Dominique Bivar Segurado goes over several materials and methods for hanging ceramic wall art.
Ceramic sculptor Arthur Gonzalez was trained as a photorealist painter, but grew to dislike the control and predictability of that genre. So it is no surprise that when he discovered ceramics (not exactly known for its predictability!) he became hooked. He explains, “I can instantly materialize a thought and then destroy it if it does not deliver what I need.” This immediacy satisfies a love of exploration. In today’s post, Arthur explains how he approaches his coil-built figurative clay sculpture.
Jennifer McCurdy has been working with porcelain for over twenty five years and for the last several years, she has been really putting it to the test structurally. She has been experimenting with how thin high fire porcelain can be before it collapses in the kiln and how much can it be cut away and still maintain structural integrity? The results of these experiments are stunning sculptures that reflect the movement of the potter’s wheel and the fire of the kiln. Today, Jennifer demonstrates her techniques from the initial thrown form to the lighter-than-air finished piece.
Maquettes have long been used by artists as a way of planning out a
sculpture. They are basically three-dimensional sketches in miniature
of the eventual larger-scale work. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February 2011 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Magda Gluszek walks us through her ceramic sculpture process, from maquette to form. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.