Figure to Function with Tara Wilson

Inspired by the human form and the natural world, Tara Wilson strives to make “pots that speak softly yet reveal complexity in both form and surface through continued investigation and use.” And her pots do that so well! In this video, Tara demonstrates...(Scroll down for more.)

$37.97 — $42.97

Runtime: approximately 2 hours

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…her techniques for making thrown-and-altered pottery with gentle curves and subtle details that reveal themselves over time. Filled with great tips on how to add movement and personality to tight wheel-thrown pots, the video will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new!

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll learn:

  • Nip and Tuck! A slice here and a pinch there can really add uniqueness to a form. Pick up Tara’s simple darting techniques for altering and enhancing wheel-thrown forms.
  • A Good Stretch! Sometimes you just need a little more volume. Learn to add volume by coaxing the clay into subtle curves.
  • Handles as a Focal Point! Discover how Tara makes the elegant multi-part handles that make her work stand out. Also learn how to pull graceful, dog-bone-shaped handles right off the pot!
  • Best Feet Forward! The feet on Tara’s vessels are signature details that add to the figurative elements in her work. Learn Tara’s secret to making the animated feet on her thrown and altered vessels.

All in the details!

Beginning with a mug form, Tara demonstrates a whole host of subtle tricks and techniques that add up to a beautiful pot that begs to be held. From the indentation she creates to make the handle more comfortable, to the unconventional way she trims the foot, Tara shares her great ideas for design elements that can turn ordinary pots into extraordinary pots. From the mug, she moves on to demonstrate more complicated forms such as a pitcher, teapot, and a basket.

Breathing life into pottery forms

When looking at a group of Tara Wilson’s pots, the references to the human form or, in some cases, animal forms, stand out. Not only does Tara explain her techniques for creating gestural movement in her work—like her super cool way of making animated feet with bottomless cylinders—she also does an excellent job of explaining the ideas behind making it in this way. Tara’s example will help you think more critically about your own work and figure out how to work your ideas into it. Discover all of this and much more with this thorough, inspirational, and easy-to-follow presentation!

Bonus features

Bonus features include slip and glaze recipes, bonus video on wood firing effects, bonus video tour of Tara’s amazing studio!

Tara Wilson holds a BFA from the University of Tennessee and an MFA from the University of Florida. In 2008, after finishing residencies at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts and Red Lodge Clay Center, Tara set up her studio in Montana City, Montana. She has given lectures and workshops throughout the United States and her wood-fired utilitarian work has been exhibited internationally. When not working in the studio, she can be often be found in the south hills on her mountain bike. To learn more about Tara Wilson and see more images of her work, please visit

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