Most people have no way of knowing how much work goes into making hand-crafted pottery. Have a look at this brief video for a light-hearted glimpse of some of the many steps a potter invests in creating something as simple as a coffee mug.
Techniques for making and finishing pottery evolved from processes having roots in ancient human history. Modern refinements and equipment offer nearly limitless creative possibilities for artistic interpretation.
- Smoke firing, as the name implies, combines heat and smoke from combustibles such as sawdust to create unique finishes to pottery works. The look can be organic, abstract, or even resemble an ancient relic.
- Saggar firing is done by firing a piece inside another two-part clay pot (the saggar). Usually chemicals, sawdust, steel wool, or other substances are used in the saggar or wrapped around the piece to create fascinating colors and patterns.
Binghamton Potters Guild
I'm a member of our rather informal Binghamton Potters Guild. We meet occasionally and share food, tips, gripes, and ideas for joint projects. Have a look at the pottery and crafts Web sites for some of our membership:
- Diane Lia, long-time potter and founder of our guild, is at http://liapottery.weebly.com/index.html.
- Fern Pritikin Lynn is richly experienced as both potter and teacher. See her Web site at http://www.ceramicsbyfern.com/, particularly if you're a fan of fine raku work.
- Ronald Scales is a versatile potter creating a variety of functional, and sometimes whimsical, work. Web site: http://handlebarpottery.com/Home.html.
- Robert Jenkinson's often creatively experimental work can be seen at his Web site at http://www.lakemargepottery.com/.
- Nancy Scales-Coddington has an Etsy Web shop at http://coddingtoncreek.etsy.com/ where she sells her unique brooches and other one-of-a-kind items.