Thrown, Altered, Sprigged, & Sketched with Jen Mecca

Form and function go hand-in-hand, and in this video Jennifer Mecca shares her unique techniques for throwing and altering vases, bottles, and serving pieces, as well as her sprig and Mishima decorating techniques. She covers her colored clay sprigging and slip inlay process that she uses to bring life and ... (Scroll for more!)

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Runtime: 2 hours, 50 minutes

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… depth to her surfaces. Loaded with helpful tips and interesting techniques from beginning to end, Jen’s video is for anyone who loves playing with form and surface! Jen challenges the notion that surfaces should be flat for functional wares and combines 2-D and 3-D decorations on her pots.

Creating Expressive, Functional Forms

Jen’s goal is to make pots that are unique in character, but also useful in everyday life, so she alters her forms while taking care to preserve their functionality. Jen warms up with a tumbler, as she does most days in her studio, showing how altering it into a soft square sets her up for her surface decoration. As the video progresses, the complexity of the forms does too with her dramatically ovoid bottle forms, and her two-part vases and casserole dishes.

You’ll Learn How to:

  • throw taller forms by keeping your opening narrow
  • create a decorative foot while throwing (and skip the trimming step!)
  • increase the height of a vase form by throwing in two pieces
  • make three different types of rims for a vase: scalloped, rolled, and pinched
  • throw the base slab and the walls for a casserole dish
  • securely attach the base and walls of the casserole to avoid seam cracks
  • and much more!

All along the way, Jen shares great tips for working efficiently in a small space and working with few tools.

Festooned with Flowers

Jen starts out the decorating portion of the video by discussing how she used design concepts such as proportion, space, and line to lay out her compositions on some finished forms. Then she walks through her surface techniques from making colored clay for sprigs to applying different glazes to create depth.

You’ll learn how to:

  • create sprig molds by carving or using stamps
  • make colored clay sprigs with a special ingredient that ensures a good connection
  • combine fine-line inlaid decorations with three dimensional sprigs
  • create pleasing compositions using design concepts such as proportion and line
  • and much more!

If you love playing with form and surface, you’ll be inspired by the plethora of techniques in this video!

Jennifer Mecca was born in upstate New York, and moved to South Carolina in her late teens. She earned my BFA in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University, then completed a BFA and MFA in Ceramics at East Carolina University. She now lives in Gastonia, North Carolina, where she splits her time between teaching and working as a studio potter. Mecca is also a member of Thrown Together, a pottery collective in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jen spent many childhood weekends observing and participating in the traditions of her paternal Italian-American family. Among the most prevalent was the preparation of elaborate meals. She observed how tableware and the type of serving pieces were as important as the planning, preparation, and enjoyment of a meal. This served as the foundation for her interest in utilitarian pottery and her love of creating elaborate surfaces and forms.

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