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Bi-Monthly Pottery Projects for 2011

Develop Skills and Explore New Techniques

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Set projects can be a great way to jump start new ideas and build new skills. Please use these projects to help you explore the potential that clay has in your own hands. Push the envelope.

Once you have completed a project, you're invited to email a photo so it can be added the project's gallery (be sure to follow these guidelines). You can also post pictures of your work in the Pottery Forum.

Also, please feel free to print this page so you can more easily keep track of projects.

A Few Words on Project Submissions

Add your piece to this project gallery.
Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

Please do read all the project instructions, including the beginning and end date for submissions to each particular project. Project submissions that arrive too soon or too late will not be considered. Please do read and follow the guidelines on how to submit a photo.

Also, please take the demonstration pieces I present you as a jumping off point. I deliberately keep them fairly simple so that you can stretch out in your own direction within the project's parameters. You are allowed to make multiple submissions to each project, but please send them in separate emails. If you do submit multiple pieces and each piece is part of a series, e.g. pushing the envelop further in each piece, please note that in your email for each piece.

January-February Sprigging

Sprigged pottery roses and vines show the three dimensionality that sprigging can add.
Image Courtesy of Wayne Ward

Use January and February to explore the technique of sprigging. The goal is to create a pottery or ceramic piece that adds clay to the body of the pot in some way. This can be done using the same color clay as the body, a contrasting colored clay, large additions, or subtle additions. Your piece can be functional, sculptural, or somewhere in between. Submit your sprigged pottery and see others' in the Sprigged Pottery Project Gallery.

March-April Reptable Decoration Pottery

Decorating pottery using slip resists can give clean, hard edges to the decoration.
Photo © 2008 Beth E Peterson

Stencils, solid resists, ceramic transfer paper and ceramic decals can be used to really do some things in decorating your pottery that are not easy to do otherwise, if not nearly impossible. For example, paper stencils can be used to create super-clean lines on your pottery that may be extremely hard to do in any other way.

Check out the Repeatable Decoration Pottery Project!

May-June Glaze-on-Glaze Pottery

This lovely plate by Chris Bouma uses a glaze-on-glaze pottery decorative technique.
Image Courtesy of Chris Bouma

Glaze-on-glaze is a decorative technique using two or more layers of glaze over top one another to create distinctive patterns. These can be very free-form, or more formal as can be seen in many majolica-style pottery.

Watch here for more information.

July-August Combined Forming Technique Pottery

After glazing, the pottery lamp is ready for the finishing touches.
Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

As we become more comfortable with clay and working with it, it is not unusual to begin using more than one forming method to create the body of a pot or ceramic piece. Some examples of this are pinched bowls attached to thrown feet to create goblets, hand-formed feet placed on thrown pieces, pulled handles added to casseroles, and slab-built bodies finished with thrown necks.

Use this project to push the envelope of what you envision pottery to mean. Try something new. Watch the space for more details.

September-October Holiday Pottery

A pumpkin pot named Jackie O, created by Beth Peterson.
Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

Are you ready to take a holiday? How about making some holiday pottery? Choose your favorite holiday of the year...from New Year's Day to Kwanzaa and any or all in between. Now grab your sketch journal and come up with ideas for your own special holiday pottery.

These could be serving dishes, holiday decorative pottery, candle holders, or holiday-inspired sculpture. Watch here for further details!

November-December Mystery Glaze Pottery

Mystery glazes are identified by their firing ranges.
Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

Mystery glazes are always a real adventure! In this project, the form of your pottery is unlimited; the goal is to reclaim scrap glaze, make mystery glaze, and use it. (Please do follow precautions to protect your kiln shelves, as mystery glaze can do unexpected things like run and drip!)

Watch here for further details.

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