When Eric Serritella decided to move to North Carolina from New York, he had the conundrum that most of us face when moving - where to set up shop. He decided to rent space while he settles into the area, and he found another potter who was willing to oblige with a beautiful space. In today's post, Susan and Eric share how they make their arrangement work for both of them, and give advice to others who contemplate working in a shared space. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Glancing at Scott Dooley's pots, you might not immediately think there was just one glaze recipe used. But it's true. By using a copper wash under one base glaze with a variety of colorants, Scott creates his lovely mottled surfaces. In today's post, Scott shares his process. To boot we'll give you the glaze recipe! - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I have been using commercial glazes lately, because I have been working out of my home studio since I bought myself a kiln last year. This has been working okay so far, and some of these commercial glazes will remain in my repertoire, but I really want to start making my own so I can tweak them to be exactly what I want. But starting from scratch and figuring out what you need in your pantry can be pretty daunting. Not anymore thanks to Deanna Ranlett's article in the November/December 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. Today, I am sharing an excerpt from that article, along with a pretty handy materials chart showing how commonly certain glaze materials are used at various firing temperatures. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
By it's very nature, our art form is not the greenest of artistic endeavors, but happily, many ceramic artists and organizations are taking it upon themselves to try to lessen their impact on the environment. One such organization was actually built on sustainability: the Energy Xchange in North Carolina. In today's post, an excerpt from the new release Sustainable Ceramics, we'll learn about two Energy Xchange kilns that make smart use of various forms of waste. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Trimming is one of my favorite parts of wheel throwing. But with my limited time in the studio, it is an extra step that I sometimes wouldn't mind avoiding. But if you skip trimming, you have to make sure you do something to make your feet look finished. Otherwise, an otherwise lovely pot can look sloppy. That's why I love the technique demonstrated in today's video clip. In this excerpt from his DVD Lively Forms and Expressive Surfaces (which happens to be ON SALE this weekend - October 25 – 28, 2013), Mark Peters shares his no-trim foot technique. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
A couple NCECAs ago I bought some rice paper transfers from a supplier at the conference. They are super fun to play around with and very easy to use, but as with anything commercially made, they are not unique to me.
So I loved this article from the Pottery Making Illustrated archive vault (buy the pdf of the issue in which it appeared here!) about making custom rice paper transfers. Read on to get the scoop! - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Learning to play in the studio can have its rewards, especially when new and unique forms are discovered. As is evident in her work, Chandra DeBuse embraces play in the studio. How else could she create such fun pieces? In today's post, an excerpt from the hot off the presses November/December 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, she shares the process for making one of her "Treat Servers." I especially love the ingenious use of craft foam as a template! So smart. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Scott Dooley's work looks to be anything but simple, with its wild angles and off-kilter shapes. But if you break it down to the basics, you learn that it is just made up of a lot of simple parts. In today's video clip, an excerpt from his new DVD Handbuilding Modular Forms with Stiff Slabs, Scott demonstrates how he makes the building blocks of his sculptural vessels and the tools he has come up with along the way to make his process easier. With these tips, all you need is some imagination to develop interesting hand built pottery of your own. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Many years ago, while handbuilding a large form, ceramic artist Marcia Selsor was struggling to support two slabs that she wanted to join at right angles. So, she set out to build a custom tool to serve
this purpose: a right angle jig to support the form in progress. Today, Marcia shows us how to make and use her right angle jig, a simple tool she came up with to make building geometric sculpture easier.
Most anyone can figure out how to mix gas and air to produce heat in a kiln. What takes a little more expertise is firing a kiln with efficiency, regardless of what type of firing is being done. In today's excerpt from Gas Kiln Designs and Firing, Hal Frenzel explains how understanding fuel combustion will help you make the most of your gas kiln.
I think everyone who has a passion for making pottery has experienced the heartbreak of making a great pot and then ruining it in the glaze stage. I certainly have. In fact, I think glazing and decorating is the most challenging part of this medium. So today I am sharing this video clip from Linda Arbuckle's Majolica DVD. Not only does Linda give excellent advice and show examples for how to develop successful decoration. But she also shares a number of great technical tips for painting with majolica colors. Though this clip was condensed quite a bit for web posting, I still think it is packed with great information.
Glaze testing is essential if you are interested in really personalizing and perfecting your work. And to improve your results, it helps to have test tiles that mimic the kind of work you make. In this video, an excerpt from his DVD Understanding Glazes: How to Test, Tweak, and Perfect Your Glazes, John Britt shows several different ways to make test tiles. Chances are, you'll find one that makes sense with what you are making. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Making thin lines on pottery is a challenge with a slip trailer, but there are a couple other options that can get the job done: mishima, slip inlay with wax, and maybe some others. In today's post, we'll focus on slip inlay with wax. Doug Peltzman uses this technique, combined with some latex resist to create his beautiful segmented decoration. Read on to see how he does it! - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Glazes are sometimes formulated to intentionally crawl and create reticulated surfaces resembling lichens, leopard coats, or lizard skin. Today, Robin Hopper presents a slip recipe and a base glaze recipes for such an effect, and gives examples of this slip and glaze combination with various ceramic colorants added.
Today's video clip didn't quite fit onto the new Meredith Host DVD because we ran out of space. But I just couldn't bear having it languish on the cutting room floor, so I decided to share it with you all today. As we all know, transferring two-dimensional designs onto a three-dimensional surface can be challenging - especially if that surface is curvy. In this clip, Meredith shows how she approaches screen printed and stenciled decoration on one of her curvy mugs. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
If you're anything like me, you spend a lot of your precious time in the studio looking around for that tool you were just using a minute ago. For me, sadly, this tendency to lose track of things is not only limited to when I am in the studio. For example, I am pretty sure I have NEVER EVER set my keys down in the same place twice. But there is hope - at least in the studio! In today's post, Lawrence Weathers shares how he keeps track of his tools with magnets and metal shelving. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Wheel throwing isn't the only way to make seemless cylindrical forms on the wheel. Mitch Lyons uses a technique he calls the broomstick method. What's great about this method is that you can roll your cylinders over pieces of colored clay to inlay various designs. In today's video clip, Lyons demonstrates how he inlays figurative colored clay motifs into his broomstick vases. I have also included a step-by-step recap of the technique below.
Sets are a great way to have fun with form, and a wonderful project if you like to make animated work. Jen Mecca sees her salt and pepper shakers as characters that need to interact and relate to one another. In today's post, Jen shares her method for wheel throwing and altering the salt and pepper shakers, as well as how she embellishes them with various "costumes" such as sprigs and finials. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.