Handbuilding may be an ancient pottery making technique, but there is no shortage of exciting work being created today by the hands of ceramic artists. Here, we’ll share with you some of the most inventive handbuilt work out there and give step-by-step instruction from the artists making it. Handbuilding projects, from the simple coil built pot to complex slab built sculpture, are covered in detail. Peruse through our archive of articles and videos on handbuilding techniques, whether you want to brush up on a process or start off in a new direction. And, if you haven't already, be sure download your free copy of our
Slump molds are great tools in handbuilding because they allow you to dream up whatever shape you want and allow you to repeat it many times. They can be made from a wide variety of materials – from found objects to plaster. Plywood is Joe Singewald’s slump mold material of choice. In today’s post, he explains how he uses plywood to make his signature clover bowls.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Historically, I have been more of a thrower than a handbuilder. I love handbuilt pots, but haven’t quite gotten there with my handbuilding. One thing I have struggled with is coming up with attractive feet on slabbuilt vessels and platters. But Suze Lindsay’s new DVD gave me some good ideas to play with. In today’s video, Suze shares a couple of great little techniques for added feet. Have a look! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Texture in clay can be addictive. Who doesn’t love pressing objects into a piece of soft clay? And why stop at the handles? As Annie Chrietzberg demonstrates in today’s post, textured slab handles are a great way to carry texture throughout a piece – plus they are less messy than pulled handles and can provide instant gratification. Have a look!
If you’re looking to add a striking graphic quality to your pots, you’ll enjoy today’s post. Today, Elisa Helland-Hansen explains how she adorns her pots with coils for a simple and strong impact. Not only do these pieces have an assertive visual and tactile sense, the coils also add to their physical strength! -Jennifer Harnetty,… Read More »
As clay artists, we’ve all upcycled old, out-of-use objects into useful tool studio tools (think credit card rib). But I had never thought about it in terms of using my clay work to help breathe new life into an old object until I saw Kristin Pavelka’s article in the November/December 2012 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. Kristin finds antique kitchen utensils with broken handles, and replaces the broken handles with gorgeous handmade handles. In today’s post, I have excerpted a bit from the article.
Looking at the finished product of this project, it is obvious that it was slab built, but maybe not so obvious that it was made from just one slab. I would have guessed that the handles were added. But it is just a one-slab project. In today’s post, an excerpt from the July/August 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Glenn Woods explains this fun project. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
When learning to hand build, one of the biggest challenges can be staring at that slab or lump of clay and envisioning an interesting form. That “blank canvas” can be pretty intimidating. So I absolutely love the “clay sketching” exercise Liz Zlot Summerfield shares in her DVD Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs: Developing Ideas, Sketches,… Read More »
If you’re familiar with Lana Wilson’s work, you know that she comes up with some of the most imaginative ways to make it. Following the clay’s lead, she makes forms with life and spunk. In today’s post, an excerpt from her video Handbuilding with Color and Texture, she shares her technique for making the… Read More »
Today’s video clip is an excerpt from Amy Sanders’s DVD Creative Forming with Custom Texture. This project is one of my favorites from the DVD. After filming, I was so excited I went to the studio and cranked out a bunch of these bisque forming plates. Now I just need to find time to actually… Read More »
Throwing is great, but if you are interested in exploring more angular shapes handbuilding is a good way to go. If you want to be able to repeat those forms consistently, using a template will save you time and hassle. In today’s post, an excerpt from Handbuilding Techniques, Don Hall shares how to make… Read More »