On the Cover: Sam Scott reveals his poured glaze technique.

Theme: Seattle and Northwest Artists

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. —George Bernard Shaw

If there’s one thing all of us potters have in common it’s our ability to make mistakes and keep going. Whether it’s an S-crack through a bottom, a crawling glaze, or getting wax resist in the wrong place, the only rational thing to do is say “oh, well” (maybe after an expletive) and move on. Why do we do it? Because not working in clay is worse.

One of the basic tenets of PMI is that we feature potters who have “been there, done that.” They’ve worked out techniques, often over a period of years, where they’ve made many mistakes and adjusted their course. Lucky for us, they’re wiling to share their lessons and expertise so we’re able to go a step beyond. It’s sort of like a relay race where you’re handed a baton to complete the next leg, and, hopefully, pass it onto another.

With this issue of Pottery Making Illustrated we begin our fifteenth year, which seems a little hard to believe. Over the years scores of experts have shown you hundreds of things to try and provided advice on how to avoid some of their mistakes. Whether you tried just one new technique or half a dozen, you probably managed to make a few mistakes along the way—I know I have.

In this issue we offer some more great opportunities for you. Our cover artist, Sam Scott, shares his technique for a poured glaze decoration that he’s worked out. It’s one of those techniques you’ll need to get the feel of, but with a little practice you’ll soon be creating your own version of poured glaze. We’re also featuring Deb Schwartzkopf and her unusual thrown, altered, and constructed dessert dishes. This technique opens up a whole world of creative variations for you. And if you’re looking for live action, you can see a video clip on Ceramic Arts Daily (http://ceramicartsdaily.org) of Deb making these dishes. Robbie Lobell demonstrates a flameware baker that does double duty as an elegant serving dish. We’re also happy to have David Hendley showing us his wire bale technique for canisters, as well as our many other contributors showing us forming and decorating techniques.

As I write this, I’m busy making last minute gifts (and mistakes) for the holidays. And with the new year approaching, I’ll be getting lots of practice making even more mistakes—a life worth living.

Bill Jones, Editor


In this issue:

Just Desserts
by Deborah Schwartzkopf

Dessert is a special treat and Deb Schwartzkopf makes it even more so. In this issue Deb provides her step-by-step technique for making her tantalizing dessert dishes.

Pour It On
by Sam Scott

Sam Scott saw some of Robert Sperry’s black and white work years ago and was inspired the elegant possibilities. Over the years he’s developed his own black and white work using a poured glaze technique. Takes a little practice, but the results are certainly worth it.

Food-friendly Flameware
by Dianna MacLeod

Robbie Lobell makes flameware that does double duty as cookware and sleek serving dishes. While making work that can be using in direct contact with a heat source can be tricky for a studio potter, the forming techniques Robbie uses would suit anyone.

Flameware reference articles (click to download PDF):

Flameware recipes and links to testing labs.

Testing Ovenware” by Dick Lehman, Pottery Making Illustrated, Spring 1999. Vol. 2, Issue 2, pages 43–47.

Abstractions of Progress
by Peter Christian Johnson

When you can’t find the right tool to use, making your own out of clay is the fastest way to move ahead. Peter Johnson makes ceramic fixtures to support his space-age looking sculptures. You gotta see it.

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In the Mix:Homemade Underglazes
by Holly Goring

Associate Editor Holly Goring tackles the mysteries of making your own underglazes that can match some of the commercial ones you buy. All we can say is that it can be done, but . . .

Tools of the Trade: CircleMatic Form Finder
by Jessica Knapp

Sandi Pierantozzi, famous for her DVD What If?, has produced a set of templates to go along with her DVD as well as her demonstrations of her textured, soft-slab technique. Associate Editor Jessica Knapp tries them out to see if they really work.


Supply Room: Carbon Copy
by Jessica Knapp

If you have sketch or image you’d like to transfer, you may want to give Minnesota Clay Company’s Graffito Paper a look. Check out our test results.


Tips from the Pros: Locking Canisters
by David Hendley

David Hendley provides a great technique for attaching wire bales to canisters. It’s a great technique and it really works because he’s still using the ones he made 30 years ago!

Instructors File: Naked Fauxku
by Amber Aguirre

Amber loved the effects of naked raku but her galleries didn’t appreciate the high rate of breakage during shipping. Solution? An unique process that mimics the naked raku process but doesn’t sacrifice the piece.

Pottery Illustrated: Tea Ceremony Utensils
Illustrated by Robin Ouellette



To purchase this back issue, call 1-800-340-6532.
Get great content like this every month:
Subscribe today!