Support Systems: What it Takes to Make Lightweight Wheel Thrown, Altered, and Assembled Ceramic Sculptures
Making thin, curved walls out of clay requires support throughout the process. In today’s post, Wouter Dam explains how he uses foam swimming pool floats for support during construction, and customized clay supports to get the pieces through the firing.
Darting pots is yet another thing on my long list of to-dos in the studio. I love the way simple darts can really change the look of a piece and give it personality. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February 2015 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Deb Schwartzkopf provides some tips for altering straight-sided cylinders. Her handy-dandy illustration of what forms are created by different darts is really helpful in visualizing the final result. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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.
You can never have enough receptacles for candy in my humble opinion. I really loved Jake Allee’s candy dish project from his new DVD Assembly Required: Building Complex Pottery Forms by Throwing, Altering, and Assembling because it reminded me that I could probably use some more candy dishes in my world. More importantly, because of Jake’s technique of throwing, altering, stretching, and assembling, I started to really think about new ways to make them. Hope it whets your creative appetite too!
I love the technique of using a wiggle wire to cut pots off the wheel, thus creating an interesting texture on the bottom of the piece — a great alternative to trimming a foot. In today’s video, an excerpt from Wheel Throwing with Nan Rothwell, Nan takes that concept a step further by throwing her pot upside down and cutting it off with the wiggly wire, creating texture on the top of the piece. Have a look and think of more directions to take this technique. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I haven’t made a jar in a while and when I saw Bill Wilkey’s article in the November December 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, I remembered how much I enjoy making them. It is a fun exercise to make two-part pieces and find ways to make the components hang together visually.
Bill’s jars do this perfectly. From the soft squaring off of both the jar and lid, to the slightly arching rim that echoes the arches on the feet of the jar, every detail is considered to make a cohesive whole. In today’s post, Bill walks us through his jar-making process.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
PS. To see Bill’s decorating technique, check out the November/December 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated!
When Sam Chung stumbled across a book of Korean Cloud motifs, he decided to explore pairing them with traditional Korean pottery forms, and his cloud series was born.
In today’s post, an excerpt from the November 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Sam shares his wheel throwing and altering process, which results in pots that look like they are peering out from behind puffy clouds.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
PS. Check out the November 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly to see Sam’s China Painting process, as well as his liner glaze recipe.
Plates have to be one of my favorite pottery forms to make. I love the big open canvas for decoration and the fact that they can double as wall art if you so desire. Because they are so much fun, though also deceptively challenging, we decided to put together a compilation of plate-making techniques from several different artists. In today’s post, I am sharing an excerpt in which Forrest Lesch-Middelton demonstrates a great way to make a beautiful altered rim on a large plate. Gorgeous. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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.
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!