Pottery Video of the Week: Making Interesting Cup Shapes by Combining Bisque Molded and Wheel-Thrown Parts


In this clip, Deb Schwartzkopf demonstrates how she makes the super cool bottoms of her cup forms with a slab and a bisque fired mold. She then skillfully attaches the base to a bottomless wheel-thrown cylinder, which she then darts and alters to make the shape just right. Voila! Not your typical cylindrical cup form. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

deb-finishedTo learn more about Deborah Schwartzkopf and see more images of her work, please visit www.debspottery.com.

  • Hagit M.

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful art and technique.
    I was wondering about the shape of the bisqued mold you use.
    is it hollow/empty in the middle, or is the inverted circle (later the bottom of the mug) also formed as such in the mold?

  • Jorge G.

    Very nice piece of art, awesome.

  • Margrus K.

    Thanks Deborah. So much inspiration comes to us who are beginners by being able to see in detail how a piece is made and the end result. Loved the video and the cup is really cool!

  • Daniel H.

    Thanks Deborah. So good to see you working again. I was fortunate enough to be at one of your workshops a few years back in Tampa. Because of you I use templates now in my pieces. They aren’t quite to the level of yours but they make my altering work so much easier. Thanks again! Cheers!

  • Maude S.

    I loved seeing your work at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia and wondered how you did it. Now I know! Thanks so much for the demo.

  • It is artistic way to make different shapes of items. Wonderful idea and thanks for sharing.

  • Elsie S.

    Thank you Deborah for your clear instructions for making a lovely, different kind of mug! I think keeping the hands clean is a great tip – something I don’t always remember. It’s a lot less work if the pot is kept clean as you work on it. It’s also necessary to wait until the clay is leather hard – sometimes I am impatient and try to work on it too soon! You make it look easy but I will need to practise to get results which are as neat and tidy. Thanks also for the photo of the finished mug – a great help!

  • Mary Jo B.

    Thanks, Inspiring cup and alteration technique! I’d pictured a different handle so the end product was a surprise. Artistic surprise. Thanks again, MJ

  • Carolyn E.

    I have a suared top cup and it doesn’t spill. Just orient the handle so that you drink out of a corner and it works fine.

  • Ceramics E.

    This is the best video and oral instruction I have ever seen. Extremely well done and yes, the viewing the finished product was great. Way to go, Deb!

  • Ruthie S.

    Wow! That was a wonderful demo. I also went to her website to look at her pottery. It is so innovative and refreshing… I am amazed at the creativity. Such beautiful work. Would love to take a workshop to learn some of the technique in person.

  • One of the coolest mug demos I’ve seen. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great demo. Wonderful shape. Being able to see the finished mug with its attached handle was icing on the cake. It truly inspires when you see such a beautiful end result!!

  • Sandra Greenberg K.

    I have one of Deb’s mug nd it feels great to use. No spillage to worry about.

  • Subscriber T.

    I have done something simular to this. I have taken molded pieces and shaped them into totaltly different ways. Glazed them in awesome effects. People love the things that I can do-but to SELL my stuff I have to mark it so far down that it is alomost not worth doing anymore…sad to say! I love what I do, but feel that I am only doing it for myself anymore

  • Barbara M W.

    Cool. fun mugs.
    Great demo.
    Off to play.

  • Agreed, the finished picture is as important as any of the rest

  • well explained. interesting technique and yes, very important to show final result.

  • Deanna H.

    As a hobby potter I am always amazed and awed at the creativity, innovation and inspiration the pros provide. One day…. one day, I hope I absorb enough to tell myself “a job well done.” Thanks to all of those out there who are willing to share their ideas and talents with the rest of us.

    And, yes, please always show finished products!

  • Subscriber T.

    I was so surprised and excited to see the finished product slso – I truly don’t think individuals who instruct us through these wonderful videos realize how inspiring it is to see their work completed and displayed.

    Thanks so much,

  • Hi Deb! *waves cheerfully*

    I’ll be practicing the material from your class for a long time to come… It’s great to have this concise overview to refresh my memory. Thank you!

  • That is a radical way to make a cup.. .Love it.. Beautiful form with consistent thickness. I am impressed!!!

  • Dorothy F.

    Thank you for sharing the process, but in the end I prefer a cylindrical cup. I also wonder if liquids moving around in the points will cause the liquid to slosh out in surprising, shirt-wetting ways?

  • Sandra S.

    A very helpful, concise video. Thanks for the motivation. Also loved seeing the finished piece.

  • I agree, all videos should show the final product.

  • I really appreciated being able to see the finished, glazed project. It pulls the process being demonstrated all together and helps clarify WHY some things are being done (being able to see glaze pooling, effects, etc.). I wish ALL the videos or posts could offer that.

  • Neat! Her handle doesn’t seem very practical, though, but it’s cool to look at! Nice video!!!

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image

Send this to a friend