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!
It’s winter and if you’re like me, you are thinking about some indoor house projects to tackle. Maybe it’s time to spruce up your fireplace surround or customize a backsplash. To help get you inspired, we decided to have a sale on three of our DVDs that will help you get going on these winter projects. For this weekend you can buy all three DVDs for $99, or get 20% off individual DVDs. In today’s post, we’re sharing clips from all three DVDs. In the first clip, Stephani Stephenson explains how to make a shrink rule – a must-have for any architectural project. In the second, Angelica Pozo demonstrates the nine-tile template system she came up with to easily make consistent tiles. And finally, if you just want to make custom decoration on premade tiles, Paul Lewing gives you the low-down on brushes for China painting.
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.
Most master potters have at least one signature piece or technique that they are known for. These signature pieces embody years of study, practice, and refinement, and demos of these pieces are often requested by workshop attendees. That’s why we decided to start a new series of CAD videos that focuses on in-depth demonstrations of the signature forms of well respected and talented ceramic artists. I’m happy to launch that series today with the release of three “Signature Series” downloadable videos: Lorna Meaden’s Watering Can; Suze Lindsay’s Ewer; and Mike Jabbur’s Teapot. These shorter downloads will be great for folks who are working on developing a form, need a little more insight or inspiration on that form, but don’t necessarily want a full-length DVD. For today’s video, I have excerpted a bit from Lorna’s Watering Can video in which she explains a trick she came up with to make handbuilding with thin porcelain slabs easier.
It’s that time of year again. Students and teachers are heading back to school. So we thought we’d have a back-to-school sale on of our most popular DVD for the education set – Neil Patterson’s Clay Projects and Fundamentals. Perhaps the best way to gain an understanding of clay and all it’s properties is to pick up a lump and start shaping it. And modeling clay into the human form is a great way to learn about proportion, symmetry, and gesture. In today’s post, Neil takes us through a simple figure sculpting project. This project also ties in well with history and world cultures lessons.
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!
Nick Ramey started out making high-fire, wheel-thrown pottery, but during graduate school became enamored with handbuilding low-fire earthenware sculptures. After grad school he decided to combine his various new skills and interests to make thrown and altered functional work, but add sculptural details to infuse it with humor. In today’s post, Nick explains his forming process. To learn about his decorating processes, check out the September/October 2012 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated!
Today, Charlie Tefft explains how he throws and alters his “wren” pitchers.
In this clip, Joyce Michaud demonstrates the traditional east Asian coil technique, which combines coiling with potter’s wheel concepts. Joyce shows us how to “hand throw” with the grace and fliudity of someone who has been doing this for a long time. During this demonstration, she explains how this method can make work more structurally sound because it compresses and aligns the clay particles with the form, which can then open the doors for trying new and more-challenging forms. Along the way, she passes on great tips such as a cool way to establish a concave foot on a coil-built piece.
Refining a process often leads the way to artistic and financial success. For Larry Elardo, developing a more effective method for creating his highly-textured containers posed an interesting challenge. By experimenting with different methods, and using engineering tools to assist him, Larry found that handbuilding upside down, combining slab and coil methods, and beveling edges considerably reduced the time he spends making each creation.