Many people know that a microwave oven can be used to dry clay quickly when you’re in a pinch. Dielectric heating (the type used in a microwave oven) is also used in industry to fire ceramics for high-tech applications. This option is also available on a small scale to the studio potter, at least for firing tests and small objects using a microwave kiln. In today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download the 2011 Buyers Guide to Ceramic Arts Supplies: A Studio Reference for Purchasing and Using Ceramic Supplies and Pottery Tools, Jessica Knapp tells you all about this alternate use for old microwaves!
Theme: Functional Tableware
Remember the rule about form following function? Well, here’s an issue that really illustrates that your forms can be highly creative and still get the job done. Annie Chrietzberg writes about Paul Donnelly’s excellent cup and saucer combinations in our featured project for this issue, and she’s joined by other equally creative takes on the idea of functional creative forms. Martha Grover demonstrates how to make a stunning lidded form, and Joan Bruneau and Arthur Halvorsen provide two entirely different takes on ways on making exciting flower holders. You’ll enjoy all four projects and much more in this issue.
There are many, many ways to put lines onto posts – carving, fluting, painting, drawing – but, I have to say, I had never seen anyone doing it quite like Jeff Campana. Jeff takes his well-thrown porcelain pots, chops them up into pieces, and then reassembles them. Then to top it all off, he uses glazes that pool in the seams. Today, Jeff shares his technique and how he arrived at such a labor intensive process in the first place.
For the Birds: How Deborah Schwartzkopf Uses the Pottery Wheel Combined with Slabs and Molds to Create Her Avian Inspired Forms
Deborah Schwartzkopf’s work has gone to the birds – for inspiration that is. Using bisqued molds based on her observations of birds, Deborah makes work inspired by pelicans and loons and everything in between. Follow her through the process of creating molds and using them as forms for her assembled pots.
Theme: Surface Decoration
It’s hard to believe that it’s already approaching fall meaning
school and the Holidays are close behind. For the past several years,
we’ve celebrated the surface with our September/October issue and this
year we’re continuing that tradition with a stellar lineup of articles.
Take a look…
It’s summer and time to throw some pots on the barbecue! Yes indeed, your trusty old Weber grill, the little round one on three legs that you might have left sitting in your garage when you upgraded your outdoor kitchen, can have a second life as a mini-kiln. If you don’t have a kiln but still want to fire some pots—or you have an electric kiln but you’d like to do some smoke-firing without digging a fire-pit in your yard or alarming the neighbors too much—the grill is a surprisingly versatile alternative.
If you think about it, Pottery Making Illustrated is like a
two-month ‘workshop’ delivered to your door. In the July/August issue
we’ve assembled a group of potters and experts exploring some
firing-related topics you’ll find exciting.
Today, Mike Jabbur shares his process for one of his liquor service sets. Not only does Mike make lovely functional sets, but he also creates display units for them that elevate them to a more sculptural realm.
Even though our fingers serve as our primary throwing tools,
there are times when a throwing rib does a better job. Ribs are a potter’s best
friend when it comes to defining profiles, wringing out water or adding decorative
touches. In the beginning, actual animal ribs were used for this purpose—and
hence the name—but now contemporary ribs are commonly made from wood, metal,
Making your own customized ribs is not only a way to help facilitate
your personal aesthetic touches, but, as Robert Balaban puts it, it
“permits creativity to extend from the clay to the tools.” In today’s
post, Robert shares his system for creating custom hardwood throwing