Theme: Fun and Function

In this issue we have a little fun with functional work – treating forms and surfaces with a twist. First of all, Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter lead you on a journey of discovery about an 18th century technique called “laid agate.” The detailed step-by-step makes it possible for you to duplicate. Next, you’ll discover a complete description of the mishima technique presented by Molly Hatch (see the cover), followed by Clay Cunningham’s description of Posey Bacopoulos’ majolica technique. And we’re fortunate to once again have Keith Phillips (Pancaker, Gumball Machine) return with another how-to project – the American Butter Dish. So, whether you’re throwing a simple tumbler and dedicating a lot of time to the decoration, or throwing a complicated butter dish and using a single glaze for decoration, you’ll enjoy the hours you spend picking up some of the great techniques in this issue.


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The Surface Comes First
by Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter

English agateware has been made for useful and ornamental purposes, collected, and written about for centuries. However, only limited discussions of production methods have been published. Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter decode and recreate English agateware by examining antique specimens and archaeological fragments.

A Pot, A Drawing
by Molly Hatch

Molly Hatch finds something magical in her ability to interpret what she sees through her hands. Using drawing as a visual language similar to writing, she’s often surprised by the small narratives that appear in the patterns she draws using a mishima technique. Choose your own narrative using her detailed step-by-step technique to tell your story.

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Classic American Butter Dish
by Keith Phillips

Throwing both parts of a butter dish at the same time may sound impossible but Keith Phillips found a way. In his step-by-step how-to project, he shows how the efficiency of the process delighted him almost as much as the finished piece. Which part will delight you?

Majolica: A Sure Thing
by Clay Cunningham

In her numerous workshops, Posey Bacopoulos shares with her students the historically rich and colorfully beautiful process of majolica glazing, a decorative process where colorful imagery is painted over a white glaze. Follow Clay Cunningham’s step-by-step description of this technique and discover some of Posey’s secrets for success.


In the Mix: Low-fire Surface Treatments

Terra sig has been around since the Greeks and the technique is perfect for getting a satiny surface. Majolica (or maiolica, or delft, or faience – world’s only glaze technique with four names) entails applying stains that melt into the glaze surface. There’s limited fluxing that occurs so your designs remain as you painted them.

Tools of the Trade: How Big Is That Kiln?
by David Gamble

For visual people, numbers don’t always mean a lot especially when it comes to the size of a kiln. Can you picture 6.6, 2.6, 7 or 10 cubic feet? How many pots do those kilns hold? David Gamble solved the problem by going out and taking pictures of different size kilns filled with bowls. Simple.


Supply Room: How Much Clay?
by Robin Hopper

Getting your clay supply right is important but how do you know how much clay is enough? Robin Hopper has a chart he created for himself that shows how much clay is required for each item he makes. When he makes a list of what he needs to make, it’s simple to figure out how much clay is needed just by looking at the chart. Brilliant!

Tips from the Pros: Optical Illusion
by Ann Ruel

If you’ve been making stencils by cutting or tearing paper shapes then you may want to get away from the two-dimensionality of that process. Ann Ruel demonstrates a stencil technique using textured stencils that allow you to get decorations with a little texture.

Instructor’s File: Loosen Up!
by Robert Hasselle

Bob Hasselle demonstrates a great project that allows
students to create handbuilt teapot forms using a mold to facilitate the


Off the Shelf: Low-firing and Burnishing
by Paul Andrew Wandless

Sumi von Dassow, our regular book reviewer, is the topic for this issue. Author and frequent PMI contributor Paul Wandless reviews Sumi’s latest book on low-firing. You can read Paul’s review on the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore page where Sumi’s book is featured.


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