Flat to Functional with Lisa Naples

In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents Video Series, potter Lisa Naples shares her love of handbuilding with earthenware. Determined to change the myth that earthenware is punky and weak, Lisa explains how ...(Scroll for more.)

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Runtime: 2 hours 20 minutes

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…this beautiful forgiving clay body is every bit as strong as its higher-fired counterparts when it’s fired beyond the traditional Cone 04.

In addition to covering the mechanics of good slab rolling, Lisa guides you through her straightforward soft-slab building techniques. She demonstrates how to add interest to handbuilt forms by adding texture and cutting darts to create custom shapes. In the decorating portion of the video, Lisa gives a thorough explanation of her “dry” and “wet” slip brushing techniques, explaining how they can add both beautiful texture and color. In addition, she explains how to effectively use animal imagery to tell stories on functional objects.

Make Successful Slab Forms

Lisa Naples is a master at creating functional pieces from slabs to the point where she prefers a French pastry rolling pin over the wheel. With deliberate movements, she leads you through every step of creating a covered jar and an altered pitcher. Along the way, you’ll marvel at the many tips about everything from making even smooth slabs and joining seams to creating lids, spouts and handles that have character.

Decorate in a New Way

The real magic of Lisa’s work lies in the colorful illustrated and textured surfaces she creates using a dry brush slip technique (although she uses wet slip as well). By applying multiple colors of various consistencies, her surfaces lure you in so that you want to hold and touch a piece. Presented with the same care as making the forms, you’ll be able to confidently try your hand at this surface technique on whatever forms you make—thrown or handbuilt.

Something for Everyone

While Lisa is a master handbuilder with earthenware, her video is perfect for any clay lover at any skill level—from beginner to advanced—using any type of clay. Definitely a must-have in any ceramic video library.

About the Artist

Lisa Naples resides in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where she makes pottery and narrative sculpture from her barn studio. In 1988, she earned her MFA in ceramics from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has given lectures and workshops at Penland School of Craft, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and other noted ceramic workshop centers. Her work has been exhibited at the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Washington Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Shows, and other juried shows around the United States. In 2005, Lisa was awarded an NCECA Residency Award at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. To learn more about Lisa, please visit www.lisanaples.com.

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