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Diana Pittis uses cardboard boxes for her post-firing reduction. The remnants of one such firing is seen here. Gone Fishing: Making the Switch from Pottery to Ceramic Sculpture

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.

September 1, 2014 6:21 am Published by 5 Comments
selsorobvara_620 Marcia Selsor’s Tips on Obvara 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.

August 29, 2014 6:20 am Published by 9 Comments
Maury_620 Tips for Using Commercial Sprigs to Embellish Handmade Pottery

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.

August 27, 2014 6:31 am Published by Leave your thoughts
CLARK_620new Painted Decoration with Slips and Underglazes

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.

August 25, 2014 6:33 am Published by Leave your thoughts
August 22, 2014 6:00 am Published by 13 Comments
pozorelief_620 How to do Additive Relief Sculpting on a Ceramic Tile Panel

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.

August 20, 2014 6:25 am Published by 9 Comments
Merino_620 How to Paint Convincing Patterns on Round Pottery Without Trigonometry

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.

August 18, 2014 8:25 am Published by 4 Comments
selsorsig_620 Super Quick Terra Sig Plus Horsehair and Feather Raku

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.

August 15, 2014 6:17 am Published by 8 Comments
lehman_620 Don’t Have a Wood Kiln? 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Partner With a Wood Firing Group

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.

August 13, 2014 6:14 am Published by 2 Comments
August 11, 2014 8:39 am Published by 22 Comments