Theme: Handbuilding


While handbuilding can be considered the most basic of all ceramic techniques, it is not without its complexities. In this issue we explore three handbuilding approaches that really go beyond the basics and will really require some practice to master. But the results? You’ll find yourself on a whole new level once you’ve accomplished the techniques presented here. Beginning with the soft pillow-like forms of Margaret Bohls featured on the cover to the bird-inspired work of Deborah Schwartzkopf and elegant food-inspired juicer of gwendolyn yoppolo, these talented artists provide detailed techniques that add grace and function to their work. These features along with our usual array of informative articles on a range of handbuilding-related topics are sure to inspire your next piece.

On the Cover: Margaret Bohls’ large white covered jars, 13.5 in. (34 cm) in height (left), porcelain.


Buy this back issue – $3.99 (PDF only)

Soft Slab Teapot
by Margaret Bohls


On the cover, we feature veteran potter Margaret Bohls demonstrating how to make one her signature soft slab constructions. You’ll be amazed at the agility she has to handle clay like fabric and produce a soft pillow-like effect with her clay. Through her detailed step-by-step process you too can make soft pots — with a little practice.


For the Birds
by Deborah Schwartzkopf

Deborah Schwartzkopf’s work has gone to the birds – for inspiration that is. Using bisqued molds based on her observations of birds, Deborah makes work inspired by pelicans and loons and everything in between. Follow her through the process of creating molds and using them as forms for her assembled pots.



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

Whole Foods, Integrated Design

by gwendolyn yoppolo

We’re pleased to have gwendolyn yoppolo return (remember her relish server in the Nov/Dec 2007 PMI). gwendolyn has a fascination with food and how we interact with it when it’s prepared and served. Through her diligent study of forms and functions, she creates beautiful handbuilt pieces that are easy to touch, easy to use and easy to look at.


Between the Lines: Grouting for Effect

by Laura Reutter

Expert tile maker Laura Reutter also returns to PMI with a surface treatment for tile you’ll surely enjoy. Using colored grouts as a design element, her tiles take on a stained-glass like effect. In her detailed how-to process, you’ll discover an alternative to making large tiles with a small tile/mosaic effect.


In the Mix: From Clay Body to Casting Slip
by Paul Andrew Wandless

Combine cast and handbuilt parts without the fear of different shrinkage rates. Paul Wandless demonstrates how to make a casting slip from your everyday clay body.


Tools of the Trade: Handheld Extruders
by Daryl Baird

A handheld extruder comes in handy for adding decorative elements to your work. Daryl provides a rundown on how to make a simple extruder from a caulk gun, or buying kitchen gadgets from the housewares department or by rummaging through yard sales. Check out Daryl’s book, The Extruder Book in the Ceramic Arts Bookstore.


Supply Room: The Phases of Porcelain
by gwendolyn yoppolo

Porcelain is the most finicky of clays and the windows of opportunities to work with it at different stages are short. Gwendolyn takes you on a tour through the various phases of porcelain which will remind you of a walk past the dairy case at your local grocery store. Cheese anyone?


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

Tips from the Pros: Clay on Clay Stencils
by Hanna Lore Hombordy

Most of us think of stencils as being rather impermanent, but Hanna Lore puts that notion to rest. She makes stencils from clay and bisque fires them so they can be used over and over again for some very interesting airbrush effects.


Instructor’s File: Creating a Mosaic Table
by Clay Cunningham

Here’s a different twist for this department – what do art teachers do in their time off? Art projects, of course. Clay and his wife added a new mosaic ceramic top to their picnic table during their summer off. Not a bad idea for a classroom project as well – maybe something in the courtyard at school…


Off the Shelf: The Art of Sculpting
by Sumi von Dassow

A review of Philippe Faraut’s books and DVDs. (NOTE: the full review will appear in the Ceramic Arts Bookstore)


Pottery Illustrated: Iznik Design Motifs
by Robin Ouellette

Iznik pottery is highly decorated ceramics using a faience (majolica) technique. Local potters in western Turkey began using highly fluxed low-fire white clays and glazes to make pottery and tiles beginning in the mid-16th century. This type of elaborately decorated work mostly died out by the 18th century but replicas are available today.