Have you ever been using a store-bought throwing rib and thought, “if only this rib was shaped like this…or…like that?” Most of us make do with the standard shapes of ribs in our throwing because the more specialized fancy ribs can get expensive or it just seems daunting to make our own. But, it is… Read More »
It’s time to break out of those winter doldrums and get psyched with some fresh ideas for spring! We’ve got some hot projects and groovy techniques we think you’ll really enjoy. They’re not too complicated and allow for a lot of creativity. You’ll have fun displaying your thrown pieces in a handbuilt unit, or maybe you’d like to try your hand at cutting apart your work and reassembling it. David Hendley demonstrates how to take extruded forms and finish them off on the wheel, while Keith Phillips wows us with his salt and pepper shakers. The sooner you get to the studio, the sooner you’ll have some new pieces made.
Ready-made casting slip is commercially available in all firing ranges, making it super convenient. But if you like to combine handbuilt or thrown elements in your slipcast pieces, it can be very difficult to find a casting slip with exact same shrinkage and absorption characteristics as your regular throwing or handbuilding body.In today’s post, an… Read More »
While handbuilding can be considered the most basic of all ceramic techniques, it is not without its complexities. In this issue we explore three handbuilding approaches that really go beyond the basics and will really require some practice to master. But the results? You’ll find yourself on a whole new level once you’ve accomplished the techniques presented here. Beginning with the soft pillow-like forms of Margaret Bohls featured on the cover to the bird-inspired work of Deborah Schwartzkopf and elegant food-inspired juicer of gwendolyn yoppolo, these talented artists provide detailed techniques that add grace and function to their work. These features along with our usual array of informative articles on a range of handbuilding-related topics are sure to inspire your next piece.
Theme: Challenging Techniques
We’re starting off the New Year with a few challenging techniques you can really sink your teeth into (yuck! now that would leave a bad taste in your mouth!). On the cover of this issue we feature Hiroe Hanazono and her wonderful double-walled cast vessels. And though it’s freezing cold out there right now (in our neck of the woods anyway) her ice cream sundae set will be the perfect thing for the summer—you just have to get started soon because the process is involved. Another challenging technique in this issue, called zogan yusai, comes from Mashiko potter Fumiya Mukoyama. Montana artist Lauren Sandler then demonstrates a slab and coil building method using a leather-hard mold form then applying terra sigillata to convey complex images. And finally, Michelle Erickson has reverse engineered an historic technique for throwing agateware. You’ll find this and much more in our first issue of the year . . . read on!
Feldspars are minerals of varying composition commonly used by potters. Feldspars form a glassy, white surface when fired high enough. They have a very long range, they begin melting at cone 4 and continue fusing beyond cone 10. They also tend to stiffen a glaze due to their high alumina content. In ceramics there are two basic categories of feldspars: potash feldspars, in which the primary melting oxide is potassium, and soda feldspars in which the primary melter oxide is sodium. Soda and potash have the highest thermal expansion and contraction rate of all the ceramic melter oxides, they promote color brilliance and luster at most firing temperatures, and they encourage specific color results.
Stenciling is a great decorative technique for pottery. A traditional method for applying stencils is to cut or tear paper shapes, adhere them to leather-hard clay and then apply slip over the entire clay surface. Once the slip dries, the paper is peeled away to reveal the design. While this technique can yield some… Read More »
Theme: Fun and Function
In this issue we have a little fun with functional work – treating forms and surfaces with a twist. First of all, Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter lead you on a journey of discovery about an 18th century technique called “laid agate.” The detailed step-by-step makes it possible for you to duplicate. Next, you’ll discover a complete description of the mishima technique presented by Molly Hatch (see the cover), followed by Clay Cunningham’s description of Posey Bacopoulos’ majolica technique. And we’re fortunate to once again have Keith Phillips (Pancaker, Gumball Machine) return with another how-to project – the American Butter Dish. So, whether you’re throwing a simple tumbler and dedicating a lot of time to the decoration, or throwing a complicated butter dish and using a single glaze for decoration, you’ll enjoy the hours you spend picking up some of the great techniques in this issue.
Finding Your Voice
Master craftsman Jeffrey
Nichols talks about Finding Your Voice by developing your techniques
and your ideas. over a period of time. He demonstrates his accumulated
skills by sharing his technique for making a faceted teapot and using
his unique decorating technique of layered underglazes. To view his
teapot spout technique, check out the video.
Theme: Surface Decoration
There’s nothing more exciting than working on a clay surface because
opportunities abound throughout the whole ceramic process. In this
issue about surface decoration, Jeffrey Nichols applies layers of
underglaze to bisqueware and sands it down to mimic a weathered painted
surface. Elizabeth Priddy expertly uses Chinese brushwork to decorate
her work but sandwiches it between layers of glaze to give the painting
added depth. Linda Gates decorates her work after bisque and after the
glaze firing with the application of decals fired in place. And Annie
Chrietzberg tells the story of Lana Wilson, a consummate veteran of the
workshop circuit, and her amazing decorating technique that begins
within minutes of taking the clay out of the bag clear up until the
final firing. This issue also brings you information on brushes, canvas
alternatives, pencils, crayons, pens trailers, and more. For an issue
about surface we cover a lot of material indepth.