Probably every aspiring ceramic artist has pondered at great lengths how to make pottery their full time gig. It’s not an easy road these days, and if you want to succeed in the pottery business, you really need to make a good careful plan.
In today’s post, we have gathered some great advice from four successful potters that might just help you when making your plan. In this excerpt from this year’s working potters issue of Ceramics Monthly, Amelia Stamps, Anderson Bailey, Steven Rolf, and Jeremy Ayers share their tips and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
There are myriad ways to get texture on clay - one of these being the handmade bisque stamp. But sometimes you just want more immediate gratification. That's where carving block printing material comes in. In today's post, Ann Ruel explains how to use these printing tools to easily create your own stamp designs (with no need to own a kiln). These could come in handy for someone who works at a community art center and doesn't want to wait for a bisque stamp to be fired.
Altering forms is a great way to put your own personal touch on them. Jennifer Allen started her exploration of altering pots on plates and mug forms.
In today's post, an excerpt from her new video Darted and Decorated: Techniques for Enhancing Form and Surface, Jen shares two altering techniques for wheel-thrown plates. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Paul Linhares was introduced to paddling work when watching Yixing teapot makers use paddles to skillfully shape clay slabs into beautiful pots. Years later when he wanted to make a bottle shaped like a fish, he remembered the Yixing potters and decided to use a paddle on his wheel thrown work.
In today’s post, an excerpt from the May/June issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Paul shares his techniques for paddling wheel thrown forms into shapes that are perfect fur surface decoration. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Combining multiple bisque molds to create stacked pots is a really fun way to explore form. A bonus is that you can stack the molds themselves before you even start on a piece to test out which forms work and which don’t. And once you have a good collection of molds in your arsenal, the possibilities for stacked combinations are practically limitless.
Kari Radasch loves this way of working because it keeps her from getting bored in the studio, and it is a relatively quick way to work (good for a busy mom of two young children). In today’s post, an excerpt from her brand new video Low-Tech Clay: High End Results, Kari demonstrates one of her stacked dishes.
With their delicate undulating rims, Cheryl Malone’s seemingly paper-thin vases bear a striking resemblance to flower petals. No surprise since Cheryl is inspired by the growth patterns of plants and their similarities to the coil building process. To pull off such petal thin work through the coil/pinch process takes practice, and in an excerpt from our new release Handbuiling Techniques, Cheryl shares her secrets to making it happen. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
After a long brutal winter, spring is hopefully here to stay. So to go with the warming temperatures, I thought I would share some recipes for warm colored glazes. Today, in an excerpt from her book Colour in Glazes, Linda Bloomfield shares some glaze recipes for lovely red and orange hues.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I have tried many different approaches to throwing bowls, but until filming Lisa Orr's video (which makes its debut today!), I had never thought to throw a bowl in a bisque mold. Lisa uses this technique so that she can carve low-relief decoration into the mold, which then shows up on the outside of the bowl she makes. To better explain, here's today's clip of Lisa making the mold and then throwing a bowl in it. I can't wait to play around with this idea. Hope you like it as much as I do! - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Making a large wall piece out of hundreds of forms requires some serious planning, mapping, and methodical organization, along with a whole lot of patience and passion. But if done right, the results are stunning. In today’s post, an excerpt from the May 2015 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Monica Rudquist explains how she tackled such a feat (with the aforementioned stunning results!). - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Shana Salaff prefers to design new forms by cutting and pasting components and playing around until she arrives at a form she likes. Sometimes she even goes back to shapes that she thinks she is too comfortable with and deliberately messes with them to see what happens.
This playful approach helped her to develop her “Cut-Rim Plates.” In today’s post, Shana explains how she cuts a wheel-thrown plate into a square and then uses the scraps to create a fresh and interesting rim.–Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
If you are someone who likes to combine throwing and handbuilding to make interesting forms, today's video is for you. In this clip from Deborah Schwartzkopf's Pieces and Patterns: Complex Forms from Handbuilt and Wheel-Thrown Parts, she demonstrates how she makes the super cool bottoms of her cup forms with a slab and a bisque fired mold. She then skillfully attaches the base to a bottomless wheel-thrown cylinder, which she then darts and alters to make the shape just right. The best part about this is that once you make the bisque mold for the recessed foot, you can repeat it over and over again!
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.
In today's post, an excerpt from the May/June issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Jake Allee shares what he learned when he recently delved into the Majolica technique. I really like the advice he gives on experimenting in your work. This may be just the impetus I needed to start some majolica experiments myself.
Lana Wilson is known for her textured surfaces and she has some pretty fun ways of coming up with said texture. Take for example her “drop technique tiles.” Looking at these, it is a little bit difficult to figure out exactly how the soft-edged texture was created. The good thing is, in today’s post, an excerpt from her new DVD Handbuilding with Color and Texture, Lana demonstrates this unusual technique!– Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Paper clay improves joining capabilities and decreases warping and shrinkage, all the while reducing the heft of the work. This makes it ideal for building complex or delicate ceramic sculpture. Ceramic artist Lisa Merida-Paytes extols the virtues of paper clay in the upcoming issue of Pottery Making Illustrated and today we're giving you a preview of that article.