Sketching in Clay to Come up With Beautiful and Interesting Handbuilt Forms

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When learning to hand build, one of the biggest challenges can be staring at that slab or lump of clay and envisioning an interesting form. That “blank canvas” can be pretty intimidating. So I absolutely love the “clay sketching” exercise Liz Zlot Summerfield shares in her DVD Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs: Developing Ideas, Sketches, and Patterns into Functional Pottery.

In this clip, you’ll see that lesson, plus Liz demonstrates how she uses it to make the bodies of her creamer and sugar sets- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


 


 


This clip was excerpted from Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs: Developing Ideas, Sketches, and Patterns into Functional Pottery, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!


finishedpieceTo learn more about Liz Zlot Summerfield or to see more images of her work, please visit www.lzspottery.com.

Comments
  • This is awesome!
    I want to pin this to Pinterest (www.pnterest.com/iamthegoat/clay-projects) but can’t find the Pinterest button while using my iPad. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Monika

  • This is awesome!
    I want to pin this to Pinterest (www.pnterest.com/iamthegoat/clay-projects) but can’t find the Pinterest button while using my iPad. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Monika

  • I love that look! This was a really good video that shows you everything she is doing. I must try that!
    Thank you
    Sandy

  • I love that look! This was a really good video that shows you everything she is doing. I must try that!
    Thank you
    Sandy

  • Lovely! Thank you Liz for sharing this. You have a gift for teaching and make me want to try this method, even though I really love throwing on the wheel. Sketching, both on paper and with the clay looks a great way to start – I tend not to think too much when throwing a pot – just work it out as I go along (you can tell I am not a professional!) However, I would really like to see if I can do this, as I love the end result too – especially the little feet.
    Thanks again!

  • Lovely! Thank you Liz for sharing this. You have a gift for teaching and make me want to try this method, even though I really love throwing on the wheel. Sketching, both on paper and with the clay looks a great way to start – I tend not to think too much when throwing a pot – just work it out as I go along (you can tell I am not a professional!) However, I would really like to see if I can do this, as I love the end result too – especially the little feet.
    Thanks again!

  • Thank you for sharing your process.
    Your work is lovely and you are a natural teacher.
    Very well done!

  • Thank you for sharing your process.
    Your work is lovely and you are a natural teacher.
    Very well done!

  • Great ideas, methods … and you highlight key points so well. Nicely done and you are very talented at pottery and videos. Thanks

  • Great ideas, methods … and you highlight key points so well. Nicely done and you are very talented at pottery and videos. Thanks

  • @Monika Schaefer – I didn’t realize the “pin it” button didn’t work on IPads. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. We will look into getting that to work on tablets. In the meantime, you could pin it from a desktop computer, or try this: Copy the URL, then switch over to the Pinterest app, select the “Add a Pin” icon at the top of the screen (next to the user’s information and avatar – it’s the “+” sign), then choose “add pin from website,” and pasting in the URL. That will show you all of the available images on that page that can be pinned. Choose your image and follow the prompts from there. Thanks! Jennifer

  • @Monika Schaefer – I didn’t realize the “pin it” button didn’t work on IPads. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. We will look into getting that to work on tablets. In the meantime, you could pin it from a desktop computer, or try this: Copy the URL, then switch over to the Pinterest app, select the “Add a Pin” icon at the top of the screen (next to the user’s information and avatar – it’s the “+” sign), then choose “add pin from website,” and pasting in the URL. That will show you all of the available images on that page that can be pinned. Choose your image and follow the prompts from there. Thanks! Jennifer

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