Monday, May 2, 2011

Earth and Elements

This earthy and rustic pottery made by K. Mohlman features objects found in nature that have been translated into clay. At first, one wouldn't realize that some of these pieces are pottery. I really like how delicate the objects look after realizing that they are made of fragile clay.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Montgomery Design

Andrew Montgomery is a graduate of Virginia Tech's Architecture program. The piece of his that received the most acknowledgement is his pallet chair which won a Design Within Reach competition in 2008. In all of his designs you can see particular attention given to the treatment of each individual element of the piece. I believe he is currently working in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Painted Pottery

I found this artist interesting because she uses form and glaze to create a collection. Even when the glaze is not the same, the line detail and red heart shape help fill inform the viewer that they are all related.

I just stumbled upon this youtube video of Rusty Wiltjer making a ceramic drum on a wheel. The scale of the drums he crafts first caught my attention, but after browsing through his website I found the functionality of all his work appealing. His sinks especially! "My goal is always to bring the best Design, Skill and Function together for others to enjoy for a lifetime."

- blog post by Kathryn Montgomery

Superior Clay - Architectural Terracotta Production

Superior Clay Corporation began producing clay products over 100 years ago. The company is located in my small home-town in Ohio where my father and uncle are the sole pattern makers. Their process of pattern-making is similar to how we have been working in our ceramics' class... but on a much larger scale. There are a variety of products- chimney pots, pipes, fireplaces, brick, pizza ovens, and architectural restoration. Collected locally and known for its quality, the clay itself is also used outside of the company by ceramic artists working on a smaller scale. The clay industry is well-known in our community and contributes to terracotta architectural decoration around the country.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Ceramic by Hayoon Kim

Korean ceramic artist Hayoon Kim's works are absolutely beautiful and quirky. What is impressive to me is that her works are comprised by ordinary tablewares - no matter teapots, cups, or plates, which reveals a great imagination. Her works are not only well-designed indivudual tablewares, but a completely reorganization and recombination of many elements.

Slipware Marbleizing

I was researching colored slips and discovered a technique that combines two of the methods that we covered in class. Michelle Erickson uses two contrasting colored slips to create a marbleized effect on her ceramic pieces. She begins with a slab-rolled piece of clay and covers it entirely with a layer of slip. Next, she applies a pattern of different colored slip. Using gravitational and centrifugal effects, she creates the desired design in the wet slip. Once the slip is dry, Erickson drapes the clay over a hump mold to form a dish.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Handwammer Mugs

I came across these "Handwarmer hugs" in a store in Roanoke. They were very interesting because they were a new take on how a handle could interact with the cup part of the mug.

16 Hands: The Tour

The 16 Hands Studio Tour is made up of a group of local craftsmen who open their studios up on the same weekend twice a year. The group was formed in 1998 after the craftsmen realized they would be far more successful in attracting the public if they advertised as a group. Typical weekends for the tours are the fourth weekend in November and the first weekend in May.

This spring, the tour includes eight artists. The majority use clay as their primary material, but one, Brad Warstler, is a woodworker. The website provides information about each artist as well as links to their websites. There is also a map available showing routes between the studios. The majority of the artists are in Floyd, but there is one here in Blacksburg, and one in Christiansburg. Speaking from experience, the tour is a great opportunity to check out studios and pick up neat pieces... you should all check it out!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jennifer McCurdy

Jennifer McCurdy
Each piece is thrown by hand, and altered and carved, one at a time, so there are variations in size and shape. Some pieces are adorned with gold leaf on the inside.

"I use a translucent porcelain body because it has a beautiful surface, and it conveys the qualities of light and shadow that I wish to express. After throwing my vessel on the potter's wheel, I alter the form to set up a movement of soft shadow. When the porcelain is leather hard, I carve patterns to add energy and counterpoint."

She is inspired by Georgia O'Keefe and the forms she uses. As well as a number of her past professors from her college career. As well as a number of her past professors from her college career.

Horsehair Raku

I remember the topic coming up class last week about the use of burnt materials in creating designs on ceramic pots. I did some research and found a name and some methods/guidelines for creating pots in this style.

The style is a western interpretation of an ancient japanese style of pottery, raku, which involves firing to lower temperatures, then removing the still glowing piece from the kiln to be further treated. According to wikipedia, stoneware is bisque fired to 900 degrees Celsius then place in a hot cone 6 kiln, about 800-1000 degrees Celsius, for an hour or two. They are then removed from the kiln for further treatment.

In traditional raku, the piece is glazed normally, fired as raku, then removed and either oxidized or reduced. In horsehair raku, the piece is unglazed and raku fired. When removed, carbon based substances, such as hair, sugar, or feathers, are placed over the still hot pot, causing them to burn into the surface of the clay. When the pot cools, it is given a wax finish. If the clay body is strong enough, and resistant to thermal expansion, it can be placed back in the kiln again. I'm curious as to wether re-firing a raku pot would allow for the use of a glaze after burning designs on.

The sphericon

An interesting shape that one of my friends in high school experimented with. It has some interesting properties, most specifically a highly irregular wobbling roll that still travels in a straight line.

Here is the site by the creator of the sphericon:

and here are instructions to make one out of clay, in case anyone was interested:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sarah Hillman

I really enjoy the organic forms and color choices used by this London based ceramic artist. Her vessels seem to be semi functional as well which is nice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crissi Dalfonzo: Tattoo pots

My sister is a senior ceramics major at the University of Hartford. She is currently focusing on "tattooing" pots, though she also does some really cool casting involving knit pots. Here is her website:

Interesting slip cast of existing forms

In reference to the discussion on making a slip casting mold from an existing object, such as a bottle, I think these artists have demonstrated how such a process can be interesting and quite exciting. I would see the works here as interpretations of the original form that I think offer a different perspective on its shape and purpose.

Matthew Sanna uses a standard 8 ounce Coca Cola bottle for two works. In the one shown here he distorts the molded bottle while glazing it in a light green similar to the color of the original glass.

Alyssa Ettinger slip molds mason jars and uses the porcelain product as a luminary. I think this technique highlights the details of the mason jar
that are typically less noticeable in its original clear glass.

Sample of Pottery From the Southeast

The first set of links I'd like to share references the North Georgia Folk Pottery Museum. I came across this link while talking with my parents about their pottery collection. Although there are not many pictures of the collections, I thought the building was quite exciting! The building is designed to incorporate the local architectural vernacular and to respond to environmental conditions and sun angles to offer the best environment for "protecting and presenting a collection of folk pottery."

The folk Pottery Museum:

The architect, Robert Cain:

For several years my parents have been collecting pottery from artists throughout the southeast United States.
The two criteria they use when selecting pottery are that the piece be unique or that the piece be functional, and sometimes both! After cataloging their collection over spring break, I interpret their definition of "unique" to correspond mainly to the glazing treatment as one can see most of their pieces are bowls of various shapes. Their collection also contains a few European pieces they have received as gifts over the years.

Links to some of the artists from the collection.
Misty Mountain Pottery, Chuck Hanes:

Goat Barn Pottery, TJ Stevens:

Smoke in the Mountains Pottery, Kim and Rob Withrow:

Hoffman Pottery, David and Sherry Hoffman:

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Makoto Komatsu is a Japanese designer. I was attracted to his work because manipulates different mediums to achieve similar results. Being able to experiment with the different mediums to find the different results based on the nature of the material.

I also found his Kuu series to be intriguing, the porcelain defies the solid property that is normally associated with ceramics.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jun Kaneko Ceramics

Jun Kaneko, brought up in Japan, moved to the US and has revolutionized the boundaries of ceramic building. Some of his most popular pieces are giant clay heads and dangos. The Japanese definition of dango is a "rounded form." According to Ceramics Today, some of his pieces weigh as much as 1,000lbs and generally take about 4 months of drying and a 35-day firing process. Also, after the process, 2 or 3 out of 10 pieces usually survive. Kaneko's ceramic pieces portray a simple, yet overwhelming presence with his use of shapes and glazes. As described by Peter Voulkos, Kaneko's professor at UC Berkley, “Kaneko’s ceramic works are an amazing synthesis of painting and sculpture. His works are enigmatic and elusive, simultaneously restrained and powerful, Eastern and Western, static and alive, intellectual and playful, technical and innovative”

ole jenson - norman copenhagen teapot

I really liked a lot of this guy's designs, but i learned about him while looking at teapots, so I'll mostly refer to it. What is interesting to me is that he said it was based on an old mesopotamian teapot, even though most people would call it "modern" looking. I believe that the ability to take old Ideas and put them in a new form language is a huge part of what we are doing in architecture and design. Also, most of his designs are very naked, attempting to create elegance and beauty out of function and simplicity, which interests me more than almost anything else in design.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Concrete Humidifier

This is a nice piece I ran across designed by Sang Jang Lee. All of his work is intriguing but I thought the humidifier pertained to the blog the most and was the nicest. In particular how the material was, in a way, a determinant of what the object he made was.

Sang Jang Lee's website

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tile Inspiration & Fun

I've added the link to the tile section of the Ann Sacks website. There are a lot of really beautiful tiles on this page. I would also encourage you to navigate around the site and check out some of the other products.

Also, check out this link. The sculptures are not necessarily ceramic based but they are absolutely fantastic.

Residential Craft Schools

There are many great opportunities to study art and design. I encourage students to investigate workshops at residential craft schools. I have provided some links to schools I have been too and that offer scholarships for financial aid. Often these workshops are one or two weeks long. All of these schools offer classes in a variety of media, not just ceramics. I will try to put the new catalogs in the glaze studio, but all the information you need is online. The scholarship deadlines are often in February and March, so go ahead and check out what is available.

Penland School of Crafts

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

John C. Campbell Folk School

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Highwater Clays

Have you ever wondered where we get our clay supplies? Highwater Clays is a ceramics supply out of Asheville, North Carolina. The facility has a large warehouse, a gallery, and working pottery studio.