On the Cover: Kristin Pavelka demonstrates how you can provide new life to discarded kitchen utensils.


We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities. 
—Walt Kelly


Like a cooking magazine with all its recipes and meal ideas, Pottery Making Illustrated provides more tips and techniques in each issue than you could ever begin to use. When it comes to highlighting insurmountable opportunities, we like to think your ‘wish’ list of projects has no end in sight. One of the facts of life for clay lovers is that there are so many things to try that we surround ourselves with opportunities. In my studio right now, I’m working with two types of clay (a white stoneware and a weird reddish body comprised of recycled stoneware blended with earthenware); cone 6, low-fire, and raku glazes; an electric kiln and plans for making a raku kiln (soon, according to my significant other); pottery wheels and assorted equipment; and a vow to try out those new ribs and slip trailers very soon. I’m sure your studio is filled with opportunities as well.


This issue offers a little relief. First of all, none of the projects or techniques are out of reach and they all offer a bit of fun. The first thing I’m going to try is Kristen’s ceramic handle idea, and staff writer Jessica Knapp has tracked down some really great resources for new utensils. We saw Birdie Boone’s pieces at the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference last year in Seattle and loved the concept of the rounded bottom. Her inspiration from a monk’s cupped hands proves that ideas for how we look at function can come from many places. And maybe we’re planning ahead a little for ways to brighten up our homes on short winter nights, but we have a vase project and a story about teaching a vase-making class. Flowers in January are always welcome.


This issue of Pottery Making Illustrated completes our fifteenth year of publication of providing creative opportunities for clay lovers all over the world. From our humble beginnings in 1998, we’ve seen hundreds of great ideas pass through these pages, and each one an opportunity for creativity and discovery. We’re glad you’re here to catch the action and try out something new, and we’re sure you’ll love the opportunities we have in store for you in 2013—hopefully nothing too insurmountable. Bill Jones, Editor.


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In this issue

Growth Patterns

by Cheryl Malone 

After studying fine art in South Africa and the U.K. during the 1980s, Cheryl Malone found her medium in porcelain at the Camden Arts Centre, in London, England in 1988, and she’s been working in Cape Town, South Africa, since 1996. Along with the exquisite diversity of the natural environment in which she lives, the analogies found between the coil-forming process and the growth patterns of plants continues to be her most important source of inspiration. Although she did not initially follow Fibonacci rhythms and phyllotaxis and logarithmic spirals, they all inform her work and the appreciation of the end result.



Upcycled Utensils

by Kristin Pavelka

Wanting to add a touch of class to her cookware, Kristin sees old kitchen utensils an under-utilized resource. Scouring garage sales and thrift stores for likely candidates, she removes old and damaged handles and demonstrates how to add your own creative touch with new clay handles.


Belly Bottomed Dishes

by Birdie Boone

Inspired by the vows certain monks take to eat only what cupped hands can hold, Birdie Boone created rounded bottom pieces that fit comfortably in the hands. 



Soft Slab Flower Basket

by Marion Peters Angelica

Ceramic baskets are fun to make and to have around the home. They are useful in all seasons, whether they are filled with gourds in the fall, dried flowers or holiday ornaments in the winter, or flowers or fruit in the summer. Even though their versatility means they might not be empty very often, ceramic baskets need to be interesting forms on their own, too. Marion demonstrates a flower basket designed with that in mind, and with the idea that its handle can support and enhance a flower arrangement. 

To purchase this back issue, call 1-800-340-6532. 
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In the Mix: Liner Glazes

by Deanna Ranlett

Glaze maven Deanna Ranlett from Atlanta Clay returns with primer on liner glazes. She provides the qualities to look for, recipes and even a testing resource for the food worthiness. 



Tools of the Trade: Roulettes

by Russell Fouts

There are many commercial roulettes (rolling stamps) available for making bands of texture on your work, and a number of ways to make them on your own as well. This technique uses commercially made texture mats to make quick, fun roulettes.



Supply Room: Sourcing Utensils

by Jessica Knapp

Making your own utensils is a great way to maintain continuity with your tableware designs, and add a new line of smaller items to your repertoire. Plenty of potters make ceramic spoons to go along with sugar bowls or condiment dishes they’ve designed. Why not make larger utensils made of mixed materials, like a pastry blender or whisk for a mixing bowl or an ice cream scoop to go along with your bowls? We tell you where to find the parts.  



Tips from the Pros: Majolica Tips

by Maggie Connolly

My love of pottery began in high school, where I had the opportunity to play around with the potter’s wheel that sat back in the corner of the art classroom. The magic of creating something out of a lump of clay, and the process of following it through the various stages to completion, filled me with a great sense of satisfaction—“These hands created that!” I felt that I had discovered a language that gave my spirit a voice. One thing was for sure, I enjoyed physical activity and working with my hands.




Instructor’s File: Flower Power

by Marion Peters Angelica

Subzero temperatures, hip-high snowdrifts…that’s what people think of when they think of Minnesota. Less known is that when summer arrives, northlanders race outdoors to enjoy the warmth, the sun, the bounty of the earth, and the flowers that the long summer days bring. This summer The Northern Clay Center’s education manager decided to offer a class on making flower vessels, so folks could make containers in which to display all their wonderful flowers. We’re sure you’ll agree that Marion Angelica’s format is an inspiring way to conduct a workshop on any topic.



Off the Shelf: Contemporary Tableware

reviewed by Sumi von Dassow

Sumi reviews a new book about functional pottery—things you eat, drink, and serve food out of—including how they are made and what makes them useful. This review draws this department to a close as Sumi prepares to embark on a new series beginning in January dealing with food and pottery . . . yum!


Pottery Illustrated: Traditional Vessels and Forms

illustrated by Robin Ouellette




To purchase this back issue, call 1-800-340-6532. 

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