Modular Mugs with Blair Clemo

In this video, A. Blair Clemo demonstrates his unorthodox approach to making a mug using slip-cast decoration and a multi part press mold. Blair’s process is so interesting because it addresses the surface of the pot before any building is done. Blair starts out showing how he creates surface pattern using a slip trailer and a plaster slab. It is almost like creating clay stickers to adorn the pots. After his stickers set up to a soft leather hard, Blair begins the building process using a three part interchangeable mold system. If you like to think outside the box and use creative forming techniques, this video will be a big inspiration! Plus, check out the bonus interview with Blair to hear about how his tattoos and his pottery relate!

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Runtime: Approximately  53 minutes

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A. Blair Clemo

About the Artist

Blair Clemo is a potter and assistant professor of craft and material studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his MFA in ceramics from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 2010. Originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Clemo spent many years out west studying ceramics and working at small production potteries in Idaho and Montana. He has been an artist in residence at The Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), the Da Wang Culture Highland (Shenzhen, China), the Zentrum für Keramik (Berlin, Germany), and The International Ceramics Studio (Kecskemét, Hungary). Clemo’s utilitarian and installation work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions both nationally and abroad. To learn more about Blair Clemo, please visit

  • Shelley B.

    Thank you Blair, great instruction. I went out to the studio and tried it immediately. One trial I placed it on an older self made plaster of Paris form and the other on an old plaster of paris bisque mold. On the bisque mold it worked just as you demonstrated but on the home made plaster of Paris mold, it did not. It wouldn’t peel off, it just crumbled away. I’m just trying to understand the difference, do you know why? Thanks so much, Shelley

  • Pottery G.

    Such an awesome video with very clear instructions, Blair! You are a very good instructor! I have one question regarding the plaster molds. Did you wet the molds prior to applying the sprigs? The reason I ask is you have 3 panels to work on, wouldn’t the first panel that you were working on get dry and start to pop off as the plaster starts to absorb the moist from the sprig, by the time you are finished the last panel?

  • Belinda K.

    Wow thanks Blair, so much great info. I enjoyed hearing about how you developed the work to focus on pattern in new ways and it seems to have given you an amazing playground of design possibilities.

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