Most potters do their very best to avoid cracks in their work. But some deliberately try to create cracking, and the results can be gorgeous. In today’s post, an excerpt from our new Ceramic Arts Handbook Surface Decoration Techniques, Eric Seritella explains how he creates beautifully textured trays by heating and stretching rough slabs of clay. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Slab-built plates seem like a pretty simple endeavor, but it can be challenging to get the feet just right. Coil feet often have that pesky bump where the coil is joined and if you throw a foot on a slab plate, you can often have problems with cracking. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February 2014 Pottery Making Illustrated, my good pal Liz Zlot Summerfield shares her nifty technique for getting a slab foot just right.
ps. Stay tuned for Liz’s how-to video, due out in the Spring of 2014!
Handles can be the bane of a potters existence – at least they are for me a lot of the time. So I am always happy when I learn new ways of approaching them. Today, in an excerpt from Gail Kendall’s new DVD Slab and Coil Building (which debuts today in the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore!) Gail shows us three great handle techniques. This DVD was so fun to watch because Gail has such a good sense of what her material can and cannot do. She definitely has me inspired to try her slab/coil techniques – and this clip in particular has cured my “handle block.”
Chris Pickett’s puffy forms reference stuffed
animals and inflatable toys and the visible seams give the work a casual
and relaxed feel. Chris creates his inflated forms through
double walled construction using slump molds and paper patterns. In
today’s post, Chris takes us through this fun way of working.
In today’s post, Lisa Naples shares her technique for making a slab-built handle for a cream pitcher. I love this handle because it is an interesting shape that complements her slab-built pitcher really well, and because, just by looking at it, you can tell it is comfortable. Have a look! Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Handles are something I struggled with for a long time. Once I started to get my handles the way I wanted, I realized that my pieces as a whole looked better. Another example of how paying attention to all the details in a piece can make a world of difference.
In today’s video, Martha Grover shows how she “fancys” up a pulled handle to make it look perfect (and function well) on one of her elegant butter boxes. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
The pinch pot is the most elemental of pottery forms requiring simply one’s hands and a lump of clay. Because of this, it is often the first technique most of us learn when introduced to clay. But that doesn’t mean it is merely a beginner technique. Many artists use pinching techniques to make sophisticated or complex forms. Lily Zuckerman makes beautiful vessels starting from a solid lump of clay, with no clay added and very little cut away. In today’s post, she explains her process. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
If you love slab building, but have trouble figuring out how to flat slab to volumetric form, today’s video clip from Liz Zlot Summerfield might help solve the mystery. In this clip, an excerpt from her DVD Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs, Liz shows how to take a simple paper cup and turn it into a pattern for a handbuilt juice cup.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Many studio potters consider it cheating to use commercial products (molds, glazes, etc) in their work, but to me, nothing should be off limits! Kate Maury agrees and makes gorgeous functional work that looks more like sculpture. She does this using commercially made sprigs and clay sprigs made from found objects. In today’s post, she shares tips for working with, as well as storing, these sprigs. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
PS: To see Kate’s process for making a candle holder using sprigs, buy a back issue PDF of the January/February 2014 Pottery Making Illustrated.
In today’s post, Deborah Schwartzkopf, a master at designing beautiful non-round functional pottery, shows us how she makes her dessert bowls. The clip is an excerpt from her utterly inspiring new DVD Pieces and Patterns: Complex Forms from Handbuilt and Wheel-Thrown Parts, which is now shipping!! Enjoy!