Although bright colors have become just as easy to achieve at cone six as they are at cone 06, Gail Kendall still prefers the low fire approach, inspired by the casual decretive style of peasantware from Europe and Great Britain. In today's post, Gail explains her techniques for creating simple and beautiful slip-decorated surfaces. She also shares her slip and glaze recipe. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In today's post, an excerpt from the January/February 2010 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Michelle Erickson and Robert Hunter explain the important considerations potters need to make when making agateware and demonstrate throwing agateware on the pottery wheel.
A triaxial blend is an excellent tool for learning about glazes and materials but if you're new to glaze testing, just the words "triaxial blend" might give you pause.
Never fear! John Britt is here to demystify the triaxial blend in today's video post. In this clip John clearly explains how a triaxial blend is set up and shows a fired example of a triaxial blend with stains, which nails the point home. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
We recently featured a square baking dish project on the blog (with a rhubarb crisp recipe too!), but today I thought I would point out that you can use that technique to make all shapes and sizes of baking dishes or bowls. In this post Richard Phethean shows how he makes an asymmetric bowl in a similar way. I really like how he contrasted the asymmetric shape in the finished pot (at left) with a spiral mark on the floor of the pot. Have a look and then see what kind of shapes you can come up with. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Commercial underglazes are basically clay slips containing colorants, and they're a great way to add color to your work using a variety of application methods. And since they're formulated to have low drying shrinkage, they can be applied to bone-dry greenware or to bisque-fired surfaces. In addition to being able to change the surface color of your clay body, underglazes can also be used to change the texture of the body.
Everyone who is learning to throw on the pottery wheel has probably had moments when they wanted to give the clay a whack (or throw it across the room). But this doesn't necessarily have to be a result of frustration. A good thwack can actually be a nice aesthetic touch. In today's video, Robin Hopper demonstrates how to throw a bowl and then square it off with a paddle to make a great surface for decorating. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Helen Gilmour is interested in the relationships between traditional crafts. So she decided to make traditional pottery forms - like teapots and bowls - that look like they are knitted. The result is a form that at first glance appears soft, but on closer examination has the fired strength of porcelain. In today's post, Helen explains the process she came up with to make these delicate looking vessels. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
There have been many times in my wheel throwing career that I have thought, "I just can't throw large pots. I am not strong enough." But I have learned over the years that to throw big, you don't need brawn. You need brains!! There are tons of smart ways to approach throwing large. In today's post, an excerpt from the May/June 2013 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, I am sharing three great tips for throwing large from potter Claire O'Conner. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Last summer we traveled to the lovely Bakersville, North Carolina, studio of John Britt to tap into his vast knowledge of glaze chemistry for a glazing DVD. I am super stoked to announce its release today! And, I may be a bit biased, but I think it will be a fabulous resource for anyone who wants to delve deeper into glazing, but finds the subject too intimidating.
In today's video, I am sharing a clip (and a recipe) from it. In this (much condensed) clip, John shares his simple system for mixing up a color blend and tells us what to make of the results. Have a look and then mix up your own color blend and see what you get. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
After several rounds of narrowing down, revisiting, heated debate, and in-depth discussion, even fisticuffs, the editors of Ceramics Monthly chose thirteen deserving artists for the 2013 Emerging Artists issue. And today, I am presenting them to you. All of these talented artists have been pursuing a career in studio ceramics for ten years or less, and their work stands at the forefront of what is to come in our field. Now it's your turn to have a say by casting your vote in the "Emerging Artist People's Choice Contest," graciously sponsored by BigCeramicStore.com! The winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to be used at www.bigceramicstore.com.
You Say Neriage, I Say Nerikomi…No Matter What You Call it, Mixing Colored Clays Makes for Gorgeous Pottery Surfaces
Today Robin Hopper explains the distinction between neriage and nerikomi, as it was explained to him by Thomas Hoadley, a long time colored clay aficionado. He also explains how to create a lovely marbled rim bowl like the one shown at left.
It's one thing to serve punch from a handmade ceramic punch bowl, but throw a handmade ceramic ladle in there, and you've reached a whole new level of cool.
In today's post, an excerpt from her DVD Integrating Form and Surface with Porcelain, Lorna Meaden shares her method for making a wheel thrown and handbuilt ladle. She also shares her tips on how to fire such a piece. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I have been sort of obsessed with plates lately - I haven't been making any (too busy lately for the studio!) but I have been looking at the plates of other potters and thinking about the form a LOT. Something tells me, the first thing I do when I get back to the studio will be to make some plates. I was super excited by the plate technique of Todd Hayes in the May issue of Ceramics Monthly. Todd contrasts the refined look of thrown work with the more tactile surfaces of pinched pottery to create plates I want to possess. Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Getting a beautiful curve on a handle can sometimes be challenging, especially if you don't like to pull handles. But Bill van Gilder has a tip that makes it easy peasey. In today's bonus Monday video, an excerpt from his DVD Pottery Techniques with Bill van Gilder, Volume 1, Bill shows how he handbuilds a mug handle and establishes a great curve using a dowel. The bonus: by handbuiling this way, you can make a handle with texture and attach it easily without marring the texture. - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
In today's post, an excerpt from his DVD Lively Forms and Expressive Surfaces (which is now shipping by the way!!), Mark Peters shares a new twist that he came up with for faceting pots. By making the cuts while the pot is still cylindrical and adjusting the way the wire moves through the clay, Mark creates an interesting alternative to the typical faceted surface.
Kenji Uranishi left the countryside of Japan in 2004 to set up shop in Brisbane, Australia and be with his Aussie girlfriend (now wife). His studio is small and sometimes it is necessary to spill over into the rest of the house - a challenge with two young boys! But he still manages to make his gorgeous delicate work. In today's post, Kenji explains how he makes his small studio work for him.
What do art teachers do in their time off? Art projects, of course. Clay Cunningham and his wife added a new mosaic ceramic top to their picnic table during their summer off. Not a bad idea for a classroom project as well – maybe something in the courtyard at school…
Today, we are introducing a new DVD that is a little different from our usual DVDs. This one, Getting Creative with Spouts & Handles, features four terrific artists demonstrating four complete projects that focus on spouted forms and handles. When we got questions about whether or not our Signature Series downloadable videos were available on disc, we thought, why not make compilation discs with several artists tackling a specific form or theme. So here they are (and the individual downloads are still available too!). In this excerpt, I am showing you an excerpt from Mike Jabbur's teapot video. In this clip Mike shows his great technique for handbuilding graceful over-the-top handles that look like they're pulled. PS. Though these projects put an emphasis on spouted forms and handles, they take you in depth through building the whole pot from the ground up, so there's lots of extra information to boot!
Clay is rough on tools. Fortunately, some of the most used tools in the box are quick and easy to assemble right in your own studio. In today's post, an excerpt from the April 2013 issue of Ceramics Monthly (which, by the way, is now available as an app for Ipads and Android tablets with a screen size of at least 7 inches!), Nancy Gallagher explains how you can make your own sgraffito tools with cheap and easy-to-find materials! - Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Spraying glazes is a wonderful way to make otherwise solid glaze colors have variation and depth, but not everyone has access to a spray booth. That's where an atomizer comes in! In today's bonus Monday video, Patricia Bridges demonstrates how easy it is to spray glazes with an atomizer. This technique is fantastic for those who fire in oxidation, but crave some of the variation and unpredictability of an atmospheric or reduction firing. Happy Monday!- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.