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In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, Mel Griffin presents her techniques for creating illustrated pottery that truly merges the surface and the form. A painter and illustrator at heart, but also in love with the ceramic process, Mel doesn’t simply draw on the surfaces of her work. Instead she demonstrates how she draws into the surface, taking advantage of clay’s malleability to create further expression and movement. She begins by explaining where she looks for drawing inspiration, and then demonstrates how she breaks down source imagery into basic shapes and lines to create energetic sketches. Next she goes through the entire making process for a plate, bowl, and cup - from throwing the forms, to transferring the designs to the surface, to altering the form to enhance the drawing, and all the way through the decorating process. If you are interested in making dynamic expressive work, let Mel be your guide.

Chapter 1 - Drawing
Chapter 2 – Wetwork
Chapter 3 - Altering
Chapter 4 - Trimming
Chapter 5 - Adding a Handle
Chapter 6 - Drywork - Decoration
Chapter 7 - Finishing Techniques
Bonus: Studio Tour

Total runtime: Approximately 2 hours, 5 minutes


About the Author

Mel Griffin

Mel Griffin earned her BA in studio art with a focus on drawing and painting from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Interested in learning more about ceramics, she went on to complete a two-year apprenticeship with potters Doug Browe and Jan Hoyman in Ukiah, California. In 2011, Mel earned her MFA in ceramics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Mel has held artist residencies at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, Medalta International Artists in Residence Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, and the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana. She has also received a number of awards for her work, including the LEAP Award from the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2011, and the Emerging Artist Award, from the The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) in 2014. To learn more about Mel and see more images of her work, please visit
CLAYflicks Testimonials

“Wow. [The Stroke and The Splash] is such an informative and helpful video. As usual, professional and well thought out demonstrations by Mr. Scott. This video alone is worth the price of my CLAYflicks membership.” -William

“I’m not a total beginner but I learned several techniques that I plan to implement.” -Kathleen

“OMG! This is fantastic! Mel [Griffin], you are such a good teacher and are so fun! I love the gestural impressions around the drawing. Mel’s tips while drawing are so helpful. Thanks, Mel!” -Beverly

“Merci beaucoup pour tout ce partage de techniques et de conseil!!! [Thank you very much for all this sharing of techniques and advice!!!]” -Suarez

“Great. I love it. So much to learn in a short and beautifully presented clip.” -ADI

“These conversational workshops mixed with handling and demonstration were magical to watch and truly inspirational. It’s wonderful that they have been recorded for us to watch via clay flicks. Thank you so much.” -Joanna

“The videos are an excellent way to bring out more creativity that I feel I sometimes lack. Love, love, love watching and learning from such patient teachers in the videos” -anonymous

“Thank you very much for this tutorial. Sam [Scott]’s instructions and considerations are so generous and obviously developed through a lot of experience. I really appreciate how explains the “why” of his various processes.” -Kathleen

“Keep doing them (videos). I can’t get anything like them in Australia and I have learned so much! -LM, Australia

“Whether you are a new potter or a seasoned one, there is information for everyone.” -M

“For me your videos have been extremely valuable! My minor in college was ceramics, but we didn’t learn anything like what I’m getting out of the videos! So keep them coming.” -KLI

“All together charming!” -TG, Arizona

“Worth every penny! Lots of great “small gifts” of technique and details of finishing a piece to make it look professionally done.” -MB, South Carolina

“Keep on doing what you’re doing with encouraging a variety of ceramic artists to share their knowledge via your video productions…and I’ll keep enjoying & adding to my library of your videos. You’re doing great!” -KIB. Washington

“We want more. It’s so good!” -M, France, Cannes

“The level of difficulty in the video was what I expected, and then some. Some was a challenge which is what I wanted. I wanted to learn something completely new and this was the perfect answer.” -KHB, California

“Very inspiring. Techniques were demonstrated clearly. I’ve already incorporated some of them in my work.” -Angela. NY

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