Embracing Abstraction Part 1: Coil Built Sculpture with Erin Furimsky

In this, the first in a two-part video series, Erin Furimsky demonstrates using coils and pinching to make abstract sculpture with soft volumetric curves. Not only does she cover the technical aspects of making, but Erin also covers idea development and how she works through from initial idea to finished piece.

Many ceramic sculptors first come to clay through functional pottery. But it is sometimes difficult for potters to make that first leap into creating something more conceptual and less functional in nature. This video aims to help potters or budding ceramic sculptors try out new ways of working with clay.

Runtime:  1 hour, 24 minutes

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Erin Furimsky

About the Artist

Erin Furimsky is a studio artist in Bloomington, Illinois, whose work focuses on the relationship of sculptural form with highly ornamented surfaces. She holds a BFA from The Pennsylvania State University (1997) and an MFA from The Ohio State University (2002). Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2006, she was selected as an emerging artist by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She has participated in numerous artist residencies, presented at national workshops, as well as serving as a visiting professor at Illinois State University and Heartland Community College. To learn more and see more images of Erin’s work, visit

  • Michelle M.

    Really fun to watch Erin work and develop the form! I learned lots of great tips and tricks to working with coils.

  • Ruweida S.

    I can’t explain how impactful these videos are for me. I am middle aged, living in Jordan, and only recently discovered pottery and my love for it. There is no doubt in my mind that were it not for your videos – and your site in general – I would have given up this amazing handcraft quickly after starting for want of information, instruction, most importantly, possibilities. Thank you.

  • Sarah H.

    This was a really fantastic “how to”! Erin’s instruction was very clear and she made this way of exploring abstraction very approachable. I was left wanting more, but mainly because I really enjoyed her whole process. I will definitely be checking out her surface design video! Thank you CAN for always making such informative and inspirational videos.

    • Jennifer H.

      Sarah –

      Good news! There is a part 2 to this video due out later this week! You want more? You got it!

      Jennifer and the CAN staff

  • Chris T.

    Very valuable. I especially enjoyed the research/design phase explanation but found every bit to be illuminating.

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