Imagine you are a student and you are required to make a large pot using 22 pounds of clay. Now imagine that your instructor demonstrates how to do this once, and then leaves. At Tokyo University of the Fine Arts, also referred to as Geidai, the professors trust that students of all levels will be self-directed, receptive, and willing to share their knowledge with other students. In today’s post, an excerpt from the May 2015 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Geidai graduate student Maggie Connolly presents a snapshot of the intensive, yet self-directed approach the school uses to prepare students for life as ceramic artists.-Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Hopefully you haven’t already learned this the hard way, but if you make and sell pots, you can’t afford to do a shoddy job on packing them for shipping. Early on in his career, Charlie Cummings, artist and proprietor of Charlie Cummings Gallery (www.claylink.com), shipped some pots to an exhibition and all of them arrived shattered. Once was all it took and now Charlie has a great system for packing work.
Today, in an excerpt from the March/April 2015 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Charlie shares his secrets to getting work from point A to point B in one piece.
In this video, Jennifer Allen demonstrates her primary method of altering clay forms by demonstrating her single-pointed and double-pointed darting techniques on thrown pieces. For each project, she also shares her decorating techniques all the way through her glazing process.
Ceramic art consists of two major components: surface and form. Either one can make your sculpture or pot a success or a failure. In Surface Decoration Techniques, you’ll discover a wealth of information about how to approach the surface of your ceramic surfaces through a wide variety of techniques from more than 30 professional clay artists with decades of experience. Each approaches the surface from a different perspective, with different tools, at a different stage in the process, with different results—so the results for you are greatly expanded!
NEW VIDEO RELEASE!
In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, Lisa Orr divulges the secrets of creating her expressive pots and sumptuous oozy surfaces. Lisa starts out with the building blocks of her forms—handmade sprig molds for embellishing, custom bisque molds for forming, and thick trailed slips as both structural and decorative elements—and then she uses them to construct and decorate four of her signature forms. She tops it all off with her glazing process, detailing how she creates her vibrant, multi-colored surfaces.
Plates require more clay that a lot of other forms and Adam Field starts off with great tips on how to set the clay up right from the beginning to make your job easier. Throughout the demo, Adam discusses structural considerations that he takes to make his plates function as beautifully as they look. In addition he shares some nifty tips on some improvised tools he uses from items that most of us would just throw away. Rather than decorating the center part of his plate, Adam Field chooses to decorate the rim with his carving and shares the secrets to setting up his intricate repeating patterns.
If you’d like to make a large platter that isn’t round, using a slab and a slump mold can be just the ticket. Ben Carter makes this mold with insulating foam board, and creates a lovely undulating rim with sewn fabric pouches. Next Ben shares how he decorates the platter with slip, underglaze, and sgraffito, discussing subtle details like placement of motifs to move the eye around the composition to contrasting shiny surfaces with matt. Watching these techniques it is easy to imagine different ways to personalize them – the sky’s the limit!
Forrest Middelton makes the largest wheel-thrown plate on the compilation, beginning with 12.5 pounds of clay, and gives great advice on how to center this much clay without wrecking your wrists. Then he shares how he uses a process similar to how he throws cylinders to make a plate with a wide rim that can be darted and altered. He finishes it all off with his signature screen printed image transfer.