Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finishing the Pitchers

I started these pitchers on this blog post . Today I got around to shooting video of how I decorate and put handles on them.

This first video illustrates what I went into great detail describing with
this post .

The finished pitcher will looks something like this:

In this second video I will illustrate how I create pitchers that look like this:

It would have helped if I had reset my camera/tripod to give a different angle, but I think you can tell what I'm doing. I'm simply taking thick slip that is liquid enough to flow, starting a drip at the top and letting gravity do its thing.

Finally, here's a video illustrating my three-lobed, tapered handles. I really never pulled handles off of the pot directly because for the past thirty years I've had a great number of my pieces completely slip-covered at the time they needed handles. Since I couldn't possibly handle the pot without ruining the decoration, I took to pulling the handles seperately and attaching them later.

A few things I try to accomplish with a handle:

1. Scale. I try to find a pleasing arc and size that both fits the pitcher shape, and will end up being easy to handle when the finished pitcher is in use.

2. Taper. Untapered handles appear too static to my eye. I like taper because it animates the piece.

3. Spring. I try, when attaching, to never touch any part of the handle but the two points of attachment. Sometimes a sag has to be nudged upward, but for the most part, an untouched handle will create a FAR more animated look.


  1. Thanks, I'd been wondering how you fluted the pitchers.

  2. Very informative! Thanks for sharing!

  3. not what I expected but the results are great- thanks for the share.
    I had to go to utube and you were in good company with the stripper and the strip search...goes well with pottery don't you think!?

  4. Great set of videos, thanks so much, especially liked seeing the handle and was surprised at how much slip you put on the first pot.

  5. Great videos John! I'm with Dennis: All along I thought you had been fluting those forms.... These were really great to watch. The one I am most looking forward to is your cross hatched pattern that looks like something woven. I have always been fascinated with that surface of yours.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Happy new years (if it isn't too late to say that),


  6. Thanks for the great videos. Do you ever do workshops?

  7. Dennis and Carter,

    I like the "raised fluting" created by the slip. It's a nice feeling and doesn't require the sanding of greenware to make the surface touchable. Besides, this way I'll never cut all the way through the surface of a too-thin wall, or feel compelled to make too-thick walls (too heavy for a vessel that's already going to hold four pounds of water when in use) just so I could carve.

    See? ...I think these thing through. I also come up with really nifty excuses. If you need any excuses just call. I have a whole file, alphabetized by occasion.

    I'll have to do a video of the basket weave.


    I noticed the unfortunate connections. They've since been fixed. So I don't get to show off my Gypsy Rose Bauman costume (or lack thereof) after all.


    It's the thickness that creates the real dimension. The edges around the leaves are raised and you can feel 'em. The brush strokes really show up -- even under the semi-matte glaze.


    I've done a few workshops and really enjoy the experience. But I've never been too connected to the workshop world. As such, I've just not had much opportunity for workshops. I've been working on a few new presentations though.


    You're welcome, as always.


  8. I enjoyed all the videos. Also the calming music. Your blog is always a fun read!-Karen