Handbuilding can be thought of as a very basic ceramic technique, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used to create very sophisticated forms. Many artists are using handbuilding techniques to create elegant, polished work. Margaret Bohls is one of those artists. She takes handbuilding beyond the basics to make her pillowy functional pots. The emphasis is on interior volume and Margaret finds the best way to achieve the look she wants is by using soft slabs. And lucky for us, she is happy to share her techniques!
What’s in store for the next 15 years? Will you still be reading PMI in printed form or will you receive it as a hologram with potters demonstrating in front of you on the wheel in your studio? It’s amazing when you think about how ancient pottery making is and how it now resides side-by-side in an ultra-modern world that changes every time you turn around. Things change, then again, some things don’t.—Bill Jones, Editor.
Welcome to the Ceramic Arts 2013! This publication, supplied as a supplement to all Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated subscribers, looks back over the past year and highlights the clay events and people that have made news in the ceramic art field. Ceramic Arts 2013 also looks to future and includes information about must-see events and the latest color trends for next year.
We hope that Ceramic Arts 2013 serves as a resource you’ll want to read right away and also keep on hand both for its timeliness and its timelessness. Be sure to drop us a line and tell us what you think—we’d love to hear.
—Sherman Hall, Editor, Ceramics Monthly, and Bill Jones, Editor, Pottery Making Illustrated
Subscribers can view Ceramic Arts 2013 online!
This issue of Pottery Making Illustrated completes our fifteenth year of publication of providing creative opportunities for clay lovers all over the world. From our humble beginnings in 1998, we’ve seen hundreds of great ideas pass through these pages, and each one an opportunity for creativity and discovery. We’re glad you’re here to catch the action and try out something new, and we’re sure you’ll love the opportunities we have in store for you in 2013—hopefully nothing too insurmountable. —Bill Jones, Editor.
Lucky for all of us, not everyone operates like I do in a studio. In this issue, we feature the work of talented, goal-oriented artists like Alice Drew making silkscreens with, of all things, a Thermofax machine (yes, they’re still around!), Billy Lloyd throwing and trimming pots to industrial standards, Nick Ramey creating quirky vases, and Jen Mecca elevating salt and peper shakers to center stage. The interesting thing about this issue is just how diverse the techniques are—throwing, handbuilding, image transfer, trimming, altering, slip decoration, and sprigging.—Bill Jones, Editor
- We’ve talked in the past about how we have general themes running through our issues like throwing, handbuilding or surface decoration. The theme for this issue is earthenware and we found artists use this low-range clay in quite different ways and for different reasons. Courtney Murphy loves working with colors and understands that they only show up on a pale background, but she also loves the rich terra cotta tones. Her solution is to apply a pale slip where she plans to decorate and leave bare clay to show off the dark body to add contrast to great success. Jane Sawyer does the same thing by freely running her fingers through a white slip to reveal the dark clay below. Judith King, on the other hand, uses a white earthenware clay because her focus is on the detailed colorful decorations she applies to the surface. —Bill Jones, Editor
- Buy this back issue – $3.99 (PDF only)
NCECA is a learning experience you’ll never forget, and if you didn’t make it this year, then perhaps you can attend it in Houston in 2013 or Milwaukee in 2014. Fortunately for all of us, the conference is held in vibrant ceramic communities around the country to accommodate the many potters unable to travel far and also to showcase the local talent.
Thanks to all those readers who visited the booth or stopped to chat with us at the conference. Your comments and support, as well as your thirst for learning, continue to inspire us to deliver great ideas to your mailbox. —Bill Jones, Editor
Finding Your Voice
Former Poet Laureate Billy Collins tells aspiring poets that “your voice is hidden in the voices of others.” He explained that to find your voice, you need to identify the poets you like and read their poetry. You’ll soon discover poems you wish you had written, and you’ll become jealous and competitive. As you emulate the poems and improve on them, your voice will emerge over time and the individual influence of other poets will no longer stand out. The same thing happens in pottery as you identify techniques and pots you like. When you learn the techniques of other potters, you’ll discover ways to improve on them to make them your own; and eventually, your voice will emerge. —Bill Jones, Editor
Theme: Seattle and Northwest Artists
Mistakes–If there’s one thing all of us potters have in
common it’s our ability to make mistakes and keep going. Whether it’s
an S-crack through a bottom, a crawling glaze, or getting wax resist in
the wrong place, the only rational thing to do is say “oh, well” (maybe
after an expletive) and move on. Why do we do it? Because not working
in clay is worse. —Bill Jones, Editor
As the holiday season approaches, I’m doing a lot of thinking about what gifts I’ll be making this year, and as usual, I look through some of the past issues of PMI for ideas. What I find are not just ideas about how to make or decorate something, but also some bits of inspiration to think about in general. A good example is in this issue with Sarah Jaeger, our featured artist. She thinks a lot about the person who will use a piece she forms, glazes and decorates, and imagines how they will hold and view the work. By altering her thrown forms she adds a tactile quality to an otherwise plain bowl. And with her decoration, she even adds a little design work inside the foot that reveals itself when the bowl is in the dish rack. —Bill Jones, Editor