Off the Shelf | Outside the Box

Off the Shelf | Outside the Box explores the nuances of commercial clays, glazes, underglazes, and more, as well as the variety of results that can be achieved with these products. In the past, commercial products carried a stigma in the ceramics field that they were only for use by hobbyists, at schools, and at community art centers. Now, in these fast-paced times, artists of all levels are embracing... (Scroll down for more!)

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Softcover | 144 Pages
Order code B173 | ISBN 978-1-57498-394-4


… the versatility, convenience, and ease of commercially prepared products. Deanna Ranlett shares her experiences of working with commercial products in new and unexpected ways, and encourages you to get out of your comfort zone and put these products to the test!

A sampling of what you’ll learn:

  • How to read the label for commercial products
  • Safely determine if a glaze is food safe
  • Ways to prepare your workspace for success
  • Techniques for layering commercial products to create unique surfaces
  • A variety of firing techniques and atmospheres to suit your temperature and firing style

Loaded with tons of tips and tricks, Off the Shelf | Outside the Box covers everything from the basics of how to read commercial labels, how to use products safely, layering and mixing ideas, tips and techniques for firing in low, mid-range, and high temperatures (and instructions for firing in different atmospheres like gas reduction and soda!), and so much more.

You’ll also discover:

  • How to screen print with underglazes on greenware, bisqueware, and glazed, but unfired wares
  • Projects that encourage experimentation in the studio
  • How to apply luster and decals to glazed forms
  • Tips for upcycling your “glaze and underglaze waste scraps” to reduce your studio waste
  • Techniques that can be replicated with any brand of commercial products
  • Additional resources for working with commercial products AND other ceramic dry materials

There are numerous projects that you can try out in your own studio and Deanna encourages you to test, test, test! If you’ve been hesitant to use commercial products in the past, this book will help you see their enormous potential. And you’ll love the results.

About the author

Deanna Ranlett graduated from Georgia State University with a BFA in 2003. She has worked in the ceramics industry since 1999 in a variety of roles, gaining technical experience in all aspects of clay. Deanna has written extensively for Pottery Making Illustrated on the topic of commercial products and glaze formulation. Deanna and her partner Daphne Dail took over MudFire, an open-access ceramic studio in Decatur, Georgia, in 2013. They foster a community of makers and studio technicians, and offer a mentor relationship for artists in residence. MudFire offers a fully stocked studio with electric, raku, gas reduction, and soda firing all within a few minutes of Atlanta’s bustling city center. She currently makes work for art buying groups on hotel contracts, as well as local restaurants in Georgia. When she isn’t running MudFire, Deanna loves to cook and bake. If she’s not discussing politics or doing something in the studio to fix a wheel, kiln, or glaze, then she is probably in the kitchen making cookies.

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