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In this video, Jeremy Randall shares his technique for creating texture on slab built forms using patterns cut on an electronic cutting machine (The machine used in this video is a Cricut®, although other cutting machines that cut thick material can work as well).

Personalize your Texture

For many years Jeremy added texture to his handbuilt forms using found objects with low-relief texture. Although he found some great textures and has enjoyed the technique for many years, he felt limited by using only textures that he found out in the world. He wanted the ability to make textures that were unique to him. Enter the Cricut® cutting machine. With some experimentation, Jeremy found that he could cut patterns and shapes of his own design using a thick paper stock, and impart that texture on his slabs.

Getting Familiar with Photoshop and Cricut®

Jeremy starts off the video on the computer, demonstrating how he creates his imagery in Photoshop*. You'll learn how to create a pattern unique to you by selecting elements from a stock illustration and altering them to your taste. Next Jeremy exports the file, imports it into the Cricut® and provides all the settings you need to have success cutting through thick materials. 

*There are many ways to generate imagery in Photoshop, and this video features one approach. It is not intended to be a full course in Photoshop. A basic familiarity with Photoshop or another graphics program is beneficial. 

Making Templates with Ease

Once the design is cut out, Jeremy gets out the clay and shares another fantastic way the Cricut® can be an asset in the studio - to make tar paper templates for handbuilt forms. You'll learn how to use an online tool to simply create templates in the proportions you want and cut them in durable tar paper using the Cricut®. Yes, the Cricut® cuts through tar paper too!

Slab-Built Mug with Custom Texture

Jeremy rounds out the presentation by making a slab built mug using his freshly made custom texture. Beginning with tips on slab consistency and preparation, Jeremy then cuts out the body of the mug using his tar paper template. Next he uses his slamming slab technique to add the texture from the Cricut® cutting. Jeremy also shares great tips for creating strong seams, adding a slab bottom, and extruded handle. 

Total runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes

About the Author

Jeremy Randall

Jeremy Randall lives in Tully, New York, where he co-owns and operates a studio with his wife Sarah Panzarella. In addition to being a studio potter, Jeremy is Visiting Professor of Art at Cazenovia College, and an Adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Syracuse University. In 2000, Jeremy graduated with a BFA in ceramics from Syracuse University, and moved to Bennington, Vermont, to work as an apprentice at Bennington Potters. After a two year stint in Vermont, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville from 2002–2005 and earned an MFA in ceramics. Jeremy’s work has been shown in numerous national and international juried and invitational shows. For more information, please visit
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