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.
The Obvara technique, which originated in Eastern Europe around the 12th Century, involves scalding the finish on the pottery to seal the porous surface. Similar to the raku process, a bisqued pot is heated, in this case to 1650°F (899°C) and removed from the heat. The difference is that the pot is then dipped into a specific Obvara yeast mixture before being dunked in water to rapidly cool the piece. The effects are quite stunning.
In today's post, an excerpt from her new video Raku Firing: Expanding the Potential of the Raku Kiln, Marcia Selsor shows how to enhance the effects of an Obvara firing by texturing the surface and then shows the exciting process.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
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.
Ceramic artist Bede Clarke has explored a number of different paths in his career. Recently, after focusing primarily on wood firing for a number of years, he shifted his concentration to painting on the slipped surfaces of earthenware pots to satisfy a love of painting. In today's post, an excerpt from the September issue of Ceramics Monthly, Bede explains his decorating process.
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!
Who says ceramic tiles have to be flat? Using additive relief sculpting on a flat tile can lead to some beautiful and unique dimensional tiles. In today's video, an excerpt from her new DVD Creative Tile Making, Angelica Pozo demonstrates how she creates interesting tile panels with depth with additive relief sculpting and carving techniques.
Painting a repeating pattern on a round vessel presents challenges. To be convincing, the pattern needs to expand proportionally with the roundness of the pot. Tony Merino wanted to do this, but really wasn't too excited about revisiting high-school trigonometry class. So he set out to find an easier way, and he did. In today's post, an excerpt from the September/October 2014 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, he (and co-author Pam Luke) share the process.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Using horsehair and feathers in raku firing yields incredible marks that can't be created in any other type of firing. But for optimal results in horsehair and feather raku, you should have a smooth surface. Marcia Selsor creates this ideal surface with terra sigillata and I loved her no-muss-no-fuss method for mixing sig. In today's video, an excerpt from her brand new video Raku Firing: Expanding the Potential of the Raku Kiln, Marcia demonstrates this technique and a horsehair/feather firing.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
You don’t have to own a wood kiln to wood fire your work, but it can be tricky to find a kiln firing group you’re comfortable with and that meets your needs. The key to success? Ask a lot of questions. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Dick Lehman shares a number of important questions for those who want to wood fire but don’t have a kiln.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Annie Chrietzberg explains Lana Wilson's process for decorating pottery with colored slips and shares the clear cone 6 glaze recipe she uses to finish these pieces.