Making and Decorating with Lisa Orr

In this installment of the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, Lisa Orr divulges the secrets of creating her expressive pots and sumptuous oozy surfaces. Lisa starts out with the building blocks of her forms—handmade sprig molds ...(Scroll for more.)

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Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes

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…for embellishing, custom bisque molds for forming, and thick trailed slips as both structural and decorative elements—and then she uses them to construct and decorate four of her signature forms. She tops it all off with her glazing process, detailing how she creates her vibrant, multi-colored surfaces. If you love color and outside-the-box forming techniques, this video will not disappoint.

Loosen Up and Think Outside the Box!

In pottery, sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the same rigid techniques. Understandably so, since it is a difficult medium to master it can be hard to break free of doing things by the book. But Lisa’s approach to making work is refreshingly unconventional and spontaneous, making each piece truly one of a kind. For instance, she combines four separate pieces of bisqued clay to form a rectangular slump mold for her butter dishes. The four pieces never match up in exactly the same way, therefore each butter dish has it’s own unique line qualities. If you find yourself stuck in the same techniques, you’ll love Lisa’s low-tech way of creating simple bisque forming tools to make the forms she envisions.

More is Most Definitely More!

You can look at Lisa’s pieces over and over and keep on noticing new details. This is because of her “more is more” philosophy on surface. Lisa combines custom stamps and sprig molds with slip trailing, as well as super-cool, slip trailed embellishments to enliven her surfaces and forms. Then she applies a combination of glazes designed to pool and interact on the active textured surfaces.

Examples of the fresh and fun techniques you’ll learn:

  • throwing a bowl in a custom low-relief textured bisque mold
  • creating ornamental and structural decoration with slip trailing
  • making custom bisque sprig molds and stamps
  • press molding a mug handle from a simple textured bisque mold
  • making a sculptural salt cellar
  • using unique bisque press molds for a butter dish
    and more…

If you’re feeling like you have become too rigid in your practice, Lisa Orr has the antidote in her playful, unorthodox approach to pottery. This video will leave you full of great ideas!

About the Artist

Lisa Orr has been professional potter and student of ceramics for 27 years. She completed an MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1992 and later received a Fulbright Scholarship and grants from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and the permanent collection of World Ceramic Exposition Foundation of Korea. Currently Lisa teaches, lectures and shows nationally and internationally. For more information, please visit www.lisaorr.com.

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