Don’t you love the texture on these pieces? The lidded jar with its boldly carved ridges, is rugged yet organic and the teapot’s floral motif while prominate, is graceful and perfectly suited to the pot’s plumpness. The forms are both pleasing to the eye and functional. What I find especially remarkable is that both of these sophisticated works were created using only simple pinch pottery techniques.
Susan Halls is the author of newly released Pinch Pottery: Functional, Modern Handbuilding. Utilizing techniques readers may have learned long ago in summer camp, like making pinch pots, Susan shows how easy it is to create a wealth of ceramic forms that are refined and incredibly modern looking. She begins with simple shapes anyone can make, like the classic pinch pot, and then moves on to pinching a sphere, a wide bowl, a trumpet shape, and finally a cylinder. From there Susan demonstrates how easy it is to cut, alter, and combine these shapes to make more complex forms.
Next she explores adding decorative elements to the work. Using a bit of manipulation, Susan illustrates how to easily change the rim of a pot, add feet or a foot ring, knobs, a handle–even a lid. A gallery of possibilities is shown with each element.
Comprehensive chapters on color and surface decoration cover embossing, carving, relief surfaces, and the use of slips and glazes. A chapter on design discusses how to gather inspiration from wallpaper, fabrics, and wrapping paper, and details how to translate those designs to use on pottery.
Utilizing step-by-step instructions accompanied by large how-to photos, readers can put their new-found skills to use creating nine projects: a large bowl, covered jar, triplet herb planter, shaker, vase, mug, jug, hors d’oeuvres tray, and a teapot.
To show how the look of a piece can be easily altered, each project features three variations to the basic shape, and in a range of colors, as shown below in the variations for the Teapot project. The breadth of the projects will surprise and entice even seasoned ceramicists.