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!
The pinch pot is the most elemental of pottery forms requiring simply one’s hands and a lump of clay. Because of this, it is often the first technique most of us learn when introduced to clay. But that doesn’t mean it is merely a beginner technique. Many artists use pinching techniques to make sophisticated or complex forms. Lily Zuckerman makes beautiful vessels starting from a solid lump of clay, with no clay added and very little cut away. In today’s post, she explains her process. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
If you love slab building, but have trouble figuring out how to flat slab to volumetric form, today’s video clip from Liz Zlot Summerfield might help solve the mystery. In this clip, an excerpt from her DVD Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs, Liz shows how to take a simple paper cup and turn it into a pattern for a handbuilt juice cup.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
When Dianna Pittis switched from making pots to making sculpture, she had to invent some clay tools that made it possible for her to realize her vision. Making fish seemed straightforward enough—until she actually started making fish and had to deal with the logistics and technical aspects of building and firing them safely. Below, Pittis explains her process of discovery and invention, as well as her process from forming through firing.
Many studio potters consider it cheating to use commercial products (molds, glazes, etc) in their work, but to me, nothing should be off limits! Kate Maury agrees and makes gorgeous functional work that looks more like sculpture. She does this using commercially made sprigs and clay sprigs made from found objects. In today’s post, she shares tips for working with, as well as storing, these sprigs. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
PS: To see Kate’s process for making a candle holder using sprigs, buy a back issue PDF of the January/February 2014 Pottery Making Illustrated.
In today’s post, Deborah Schwartzkopf, a master at designing beautiful non-round functional pottery, shows us how she makes her dessert bowls. The clip is an excerpt from her utterly inspiring new DVD Pieces and Patterns: Complex Forms from Handbuilt and Wheel-Thrown Parts, which is now shipping!! Enjoy!
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In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents Video Series, Lisa Naples shares her insights and techniques on sculpting animals in clay to tell stories. She begins with a mixed media project, explaining not only the ins and outs of sculpting convincing mammal forms in clay, but also the technical issues of building clay pieces to successfully mesh with non clay materials. She also explores the process of pairing animal parts with pottery forms, creating a sculptural bird vase. In addition, Lisa shows how to make the figures come alive through her fabulous brush work and dry-brush slip application.
Pottery Video of the Week: A Super Easy Way to Get the Pulled Handle Look Without Pulling the Handle
Sandi Pierantozzi demonstrates a couple of variations on her flat pulling handle technique in today’s excerpt from her DVD, which is now available as a digital download! Enjoy!
Bryan Hopkins jokingly refers to his pots as dysfunctional vessels because of their high loss rate. But he says that just comes with the territory when your goal is to push the material to its limits. In today’s post, an excerpt from an upcoming article in Ceramics Monthly, Hopkins explains his process, which includes throwing posts on the wheel, cutting them into slab sections, pressing some of the sections into bisque molds, then putting all back together in interesting constructions.
In today’s post, an excerpt from his book From a Slab of Clay, Daryl Baird explains how to make templates and use them to create slab-built bowls. A great benefit of this is that if you make them with a sturdy material like card stock or laminated paper, you can use them over and over.