improving your pots

A workshop handout.

studio table, 2011

time in the studio!

• find access to space and equipment

• keep your overhead low

• limit distracting commitments (and plain old distractions)

hand skills

• throwing

• trimming (tap centering)

• altering

• surface treatments (rib/finger/trim marks)

• textures

• glaze/slip application

• visual skills

visual skills

• study historical and contemporary pots

• own and use pots

• read books and periodicals

• museum trips

• studio visits

• sketching and note-taking

knowledge of materials and tools

• clays

• glaze materials

• studio equipment and design

• kiln design, construction and firing

• tool kit

knowledge of sequences

• drying management


• develop discipline

• set goals (make bodies of work)

• consistency of approach

• allow risk (crisis=opportunity)

• have courage, willingness to fail

• play

• ask what the pot needs (instead of what you need)

• understand copying as exercise

• keep “skill” in perspective

• foster and participate in communities

• seek teachers