Lessons with Clay: Step-by-Step Techniques for Colorful Designs in Hand-Thrown and Hand-Built Tableware

Schiffer. Sept. 2022. 160p. ISBN 9780764364693. pap. $26.99. CRAFTS
Working with clay can be challenging. It is a complex medium that requires one to fully master the various stages of the process. Dora, a ceramic artist based in the UK, has provided clear step-by-step instructions outlining the techniques for forming and building one’s pieces, using a potter’s wheel, firing, and glazing. She shares instructions for different hand-building methods, throwing on the wheel, clay reuse, and glaze mixing. She illustrates the differences in clay bodies that are available and explains how the different ones can influence the final outcome. Clear color photographs illustrate the various steps in each lesson. Working mainly with functional pottery, the author guides readers in making dinnerware. Following the lessons, she concentrates on sharing her knowledge of kiln firing, setting up a studio, and best practices for selling one’s work online and in person. A glossary aids with understanding the terminology.
VERDICT While this is best for those who have access to studio facilities, Dora’s guide is a clear and orderly introduction to pottery making that will benefit anyone interested in pursuing the craft.
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