Precise Imprecision with Mike Jabbur

Mike Jabbur shares his process for stretching the limits of porcelain to create beautiful undulating pots in his full-length video. Discover the details...(Scroll for more.)

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Runtime: 2 hours and 30 minutes

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..behind creating undulating loose forms that take on a life of their own. With ordinary throwing skills, Mike demonstrates how to create gravity-defying pots while sharing tips and tricks that are certain to improve the way you work. Original List Price: $69.97

Lessons from experience

The secret to Mike’s approach to throwing is in his attention to detail. Throughout the video, Mike takes the time to carefully describe the reasons behind each movement he makes as he demonstrates. Working with porcelain is tricky, but Mike describes how his technique evolved and the lessons he’s learned with each phase of the throwing process.

Attention to details

Equally as important to his throwing skills, Mike is determined to create works of clay that evoke a sense of connection to the user. He maintains that dynamic movements expressed by the human body inspire his forms as they twist and bend, wriggle and dance. To carry this off, Mike focuses his attention on the details of each element of the form—body, foot, neck, handles, rims and lids—to assure they contribute to the whole form when the pot is complete.

Stretching exercises

Mike demonstrates his techniques through a series of projects—tumbler, mug, bread plate, stacked vase, and oil cruet. In each project, he uses a different set of techniques as each item presents itself with its own set of problems to deal with. As you progress through the projects, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to manipulate porcelain (or any clay for that matter) to reflect the dynamic potential of your clay.

Artist Statement

Fundamental to my production of utilitarian pottery is the forging of connections that simultaneously enrich lives and celebrate the positive aspects of humanity. My pottery is about these very entities: material, form, utility, interaction and experience; through the exploration of these entities, I intend to re-engage the user with the vessel. Utilitarian pots are to be used—to be touched, held, filled, emptied, cleaned, and shared. These attributes define and direct my artistic pursuit. Reveling in the expressive potential of clay’s materiality—its willingness to glisten and stretch, fold and fissure—I draw connections between the ceramic vessel and the human body to sanction a means of understanding, a postern to the familiar. The body is a wonderfully complex structure, limitless in opportunity for investigation from the micro to the macro, the corporeal to the conceptual. Dynamic movements expressed by the human body also inspire my sense of form; my pots bend and twist, wriggle and dance. Such gestures further the associative phenomenon regarding our means of understanding. Concurrently, these gestures—especially dance—recall the human act of celebration. A metaphorical connection is drawn between colloquial perceptions of human celebration and the metaphysical celebration that occurs when actively engaging in acts of eating and drinking. I hope to enhance our breaks in the day—modest endeavors such as afternoon coffee, conversation, and sharing in drink with friends. Yet my pottery also succors rare and special moments of reflection and celebration.

About Mike Jabbur

Mike Jabbur holds an M.F.A. in Ceramics from Ohio University and a B.A. in Graphic Design from Virginia Tech University. Mike is currently assistant professor of ceramics at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Previously, Mike served as studio director at Santa Fe Clay and was an artist in residence at Red Star Ceramic Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. Jabbur’s work has been exhibited in the United States and China. To learn more about Mike Jabbur, please visit his website

Ceramic Arts Daily: Mike Jabbur Emerging Artist 2011

Mike Jabbur Studio Visit

Ceramic Arts Daily: Sip Service: How to Make Sets That Blur the Lines Between Functional Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture


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