Surface, Glaze & Form: Pottery Techniques

This book covers three of the most critical aspects of the ceramic process. Find out how 30 ceramic artists create unique forms and the methods they use to glaze and decorate their work. You’ll discover all types of forming, decorating, and glazing techniques illustrated in detailed step-by-step photo sequences that cover the gamut of possibilities...(Scroll for more.)



You save $14.98 (50%)!

Available as a book only.

Download a snippet!

Softcover | 144 Pages
Order code B118 | ISBN 978-1-57498-325-8

 …You’ll discover all types of forming, decorating and glazing techniques illustrated in detailed step-by-step photo sequences that cover every aspect of modern ceramics.

Multi-talented potters

You’ll find artists like Gwendolyn Yopollo revealing her design considerations when she demonstrates how to create the form and surface for an orange juicer. And you’ll discover the techniques behind Laura Reutter’s grout tile effect and Connie Norman’s use of words when decorating as well. Clay artists are the most multi-talented people in the arts, or anywhere for that matter (well, we are). From concept and design to forming and firing — not to mention chemistry, thermodynamics, math, color theory, history and a host of other skills thrown in — the clay artists in this book provide it all when they describe their techniques.

Many of the techniques in this book revolve around making complete projects from forming through decoration so you get a variety of techniques from a single artist. For example, Ursula Hargens describes her entire process from planning to decorating three dimensional tiles in When the Negative is Positive, providing all the details for her work that feature negative space. You end up with information on making tiles with deep molds, design considerations using negative space, and decorating with slips and glazes.

Sam Scott was originally inspired by the black-and-white work of Robert Sperry years ago, and developed a poured glazing technique using high contrast glazes and clays. While the emphasis is on the decoration, he provides the instructions for creating a beautiful lidded form as well.

Sarah Jaeger finds a great deal of joy in her work and gives lots of thought to the end user. She describes her technique for making a split rim, thrown-and-altered bowl with highly decorative brushwork in Joyful Pots.

Courtney Murphy was always drawn to spare and simple forms and her work reflects that. Beginning with earthenware clay coated with white slip, her decorating style in Less Is More is reminiscent of the mid-20th century.


Linda Gates, on the other hand, creates custom slipcast vessels in Second Childhood that she decorates with nostalgic-themed decals. Her work takes on a narrative aspect with images and text allowing the viewer to freely interpret the work through their own experiences.

If you’re looking for something a little edgier, then you’ll enjoy the possibilities Magda Gluszek demonstrates in her Playing Dress-Up chapter. Her instructions for enlarging sculptures from a maquette to full-size, along with her multimedia decorations illustrate the unlimited possibilities of clay.

Jason Bige Burnett’s work looks like it came off the set of a 1960 Tom and Jerry cartoon, but that is his intent. His forms and decorations in Slip Transfer will probably remind you of the same era, and his technique is fun and easy.

Combining techniques is one of the subplots of Surface, Glaze & Form where all three elements are brought into play. Kristin Pavelka demonstrates throwing plates, decorating with Slip and Sgraffito then adding glazes; Andrew Gilliatt casts bowls then demonstrates Layering Slips, Glazes and Decals; and Ben Carter gets into Elevating Earthenware to a new level with his foam and tarpaper technique.

You’ll find the secrets to how Forrest Lesch-Middleton and Paul Barchilon create their intricate designs that reveal Islamic, Persian, Afghani and Iraqi influences. Paul’s step-by-step details for creating Arabesque Designs breaks down a complicated design into manageable parts.

Every artist has a unique set of techniques and this book showcases some of that variety. Nancy Zoller explains everything about Making Bisque Molds, Marcus Lewis demonstrates his Urchin Texture, Jim Guttuso adds many layers with his Etched in Clay technique, while Ann Ruel describes Glaze Etching and how to make Block Printing Stamps. Meanwhile, brush expert Michael Harbridge talks about Using the Correct Brush and Elizabeth Priddy provides a brief Chinese Brush Painting demonstration — she makes it looks so simple.

Glazed surfaces can go anywhere from a plain single color to a full spectrum like the Rainbow Revealed by Adrian Sandstrom, the Painterly Approach that Tim Ludwig takes, or the technique for Majolica Decoration that Jake Allee describes.

Nothing makes a more personal statement than developing your own palette of uniquely mixed glazes. John Britt sheds light on Cone 6 Celadons and Peach Bloom Glazes, Cheryl Pannabecker reveals her results from testing Bristol Glazes, and Yoko Sekino-Bove shows how to Expand a Mid-Range Palette adding different oxides to glaze bases can provide scores of variations.

Surface, Glaze & Form: Pottery Techniques provides enough ideas and techniques to keep you excited for the rest of your life. Every new technique you learn can alter the way you currently work, or even take you off on a whole different adventure.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image