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Design for the Soft Surface with Ben Carter

Posted By Jennifer Harnetty On November 16, 2012 @ 1:04 pm In Potters Council | 4 Comments

One-day workshop with master artist Ben Carter

Intimate • In-depth • Inspirational • Inexpensive 

To add your name to the waiting list, please call 800-424-8698.



January 19, 2013

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Presented and hosted by Potters Council



To add your name to the waiting list, please call 800-424-8698.


This workshop focuses on integrating surface design with altered wheel-thrown and hand built pottery. Demonstrations include soft throwing, altering, working with foam slump molds, slip decorating, and underglaze painting.


During the workshop Ben will discuss aesthetic issues (i.e. proportions, color theory, etc.), defining a conceptual foundation for making functional pottery, and motivation/idea derivation. A short slide lecture including historical influences and conceptual development will be included in the workshop. Learn more about Ben Carter.


See pricing and registration details here! 




Attendees will learn how to…


  • Use altering to divide a pot’s surface for future decoration; Accentuate these divisions with slip trailing or low relief carving.
  • Make a teacup and saucer set
  • Make a flower brick
  • Throw large volume forms
  • Draw patterns with a rolling tracer tool
  • Manipulate forms from the inside
  • Use handbuilding method with foam molds; develop a two-dimensional design and then create a three-dimensional version of the design using a foam mold.
  • Make a butter dish
  • Decorate with slip and underglaze
  • Paint with underglaze 
  • Use sgraffito and other drawing techniques
Get a taste of Ben’s techniques in this post from the Ceramic Arts Daily archives!



My passion for clay has been a constant since I first sat at a potter’s wheel in my high school ceramics class. After the first week I naively/proudly declared that I would become an artist. This decision led me to Appalachian State University for a BFA in painting/ceramics and then on to an MFA in ceramics at the University of Florida. The ceramic departments at these schools armed me with the intellectual tools to engage with everything from aesthetics to glaze chemistry.


Over the years I have been fortunate to be a resident artist at the Canton Clay Works, The Odyssey Center for Ceramic Art, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. These communities provided me the support I needed to push my work in new and unexpected directions. Along with my time as a production potter at Black Mountain Studios these residencies gave me a safety net to learn the ups and downs of the business of making pottery. In 2004 I opened Carter Pottery and have since been producing work for exhibitions across the United States.


In 2010 I moved to Shanghai, China to be the educational director of the Pottery Workshop Shanghai. Living in a country with a storied ceramic tradition has opened my eyes to new techniques and perspectives. Whether it is my frequent trips to China’s many ceramic museums, my dedicated group of students, or my interactions with Chinese coworkers, I am learning new ways of thinking and making on a daily basis. During my time in Asia I have visited many historic ceramic-producing areas including Jingdezhen, China and Mashiko, Japan. This first-hand view has given me a great appreciation for the forming and painting methods of two of the world’s great ceramic traditions. Along with my role as an observer I have been fortunate to travel in Australia, New Zealand, and China teaching workshops about the techniques that I have developed for making my work.


In my career I have been fortunate to be published in U.S. and Chinese periodicals including Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, and China Ceramic Artist Magazine








December 1, 2012

Potters Council Member   $100.00
Non Member   $125.00

Student, with Valid Student ID

(student spaces are limited; call 800-424-8698 for more information or to register) 

Registration fee includes lunch on Saturday. Make checks payable to Potters Council in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank. Cancellation Policy: Full refund less $25 if canceled on or before December 19, 2012; 50% refund if canceled between December 20, 2012 and January 18 2013; no refunds after January 19, 2013.


Registration Handout


To add your name to the waiting list, please call 800-424-8698!





This one-day workshop will be held at the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents Video Studio at Relay Recording in downtown Columbus:

211 N. 6th Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215

See map!

Free parking in lot adjacent to building. 




Red Roof Inn – Downtown Columbus

111 East Nationwide Boulevard
(614) 224-6539

Website: Red Roof Inn – Columbus Downtown - Convention Center 


$120 per night for Superior King. Rate includes complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary hi-speed internet access, free airport shuttle (advanced registration required), in-room microwave/refrigerator, free access to Metro Finess. Parking with unlimited in/out privIleges: $10/day. 

Hotel is approximately four blocks from workshop location, and a short walk to the Short North Arts District. 

Ask for Potters Council meeting block (group code POTTER) to get preferred rates. Room block will be held until December 18, 2012.







Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) – click here for website
4600 International Gateway
Columbus, Ohio 43219


Car Rental from Airport:
Columbus International Airport features eight on-site car rental agencies. With check-in counters on the ground floor of the parking garage, you won’t have to brave the elements to pick up your car.

Go here to make your selections.


Taxi Service from Airport:
You’ll find taxis available on demand (no reservation required) in the ground transportation area of the terminal on a 24-hour basis. The electronic meter will be activated to compute your fare from Port Columbus International Airport.
Go here for more information on taxis.





There is much to see and do around the Columbus, Ohio. This is a great opportunity to bring your family or friends and extend your visit.


Experience Columbus


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