Make It in Clay: A Beginner's Guide to Ceramics

by ;
Edition: 2nd
Format: Spiral Bound
Pub. Date: 2001-02-09
Publisher(s): McGraw-Hill Education
List Price: $146.01

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This introductory guide to ceramics is geared to a simple, beginning studio situation. The text provides descriptions of basic tools, materials, and techniques paired with ample illustrations of processes to help beginners get started in clay.

Table of Contents

In each chapter: Key Terms / Creative Exercises / Notes and Sketches

1. The Ceramics Studio

Early Pottery Methods

The Contemporary Studio

Ceramics Studio Equipment

2. About Clay

How Clay Was Formed

Types of Clay

Prepared Clay Bodies

Health and Safety


Personal Protection

Studio Health and Safety Rules

Clay Recipes to Mix


3. Handbuilding

Aesthetic Considerations

History of Pinching


Hands as Tools

Collecting Tools


History of Coiling

Making the Coils

Building with Coils

Scoring and Using Slip

Profile of a Potter: Juliet Thorne

Keeping Work Damp

Drying Your Work

4. Slabs and Tiles

History of Slabs

Making Slabs

Building with Slabs

Hard-edged Forms

Open Box to Sculpture

Soft Slab Construction


Making Tiles

Drying Tiles

5. Sculpture

History of Sculpture

Relief Sculpture


Sketching and Clay


Hands as Tools


Building Hollow

Building Solid

Mixed Media and Installations

6. Molds

History of Molds

Hump Molds

Press Molds

Drape Molds

Slip Casting

7. The Wheel

History: From Turntable to Wheel

Learning to Throw

Types of Wheels



Pulling Up the Wall

Throwing a Mug

Pulling a Handle

Thrown Forms

Throwing a Vase

Throwing a Bowl

Profile of a Potter: Ross Spangler


Altered Forms

8. Surfaces

History of Surfaces



Engobe and Slip


Terra Sigillata

Oxides and Stains


Decorative Underglaze Techniques


Mixing and Testing Glazes

Applying Glaze

Dipping a Glaze

Pouring Glazes

Spraying Glazes

Surface Treatments

Resist Methods

China Paints, Overglazes, and Enamels

9. Firing

History of Firing

What Happens in the Fire

Bisque Firing

Loading a Bisque Kiln

Monitoring the Kiln

Glaze Firing


Oxidation and Reduction Atmospheres

Historical Raku

Contemporary Raku

Wood Firing


Your Future in Clay

Profile: Ben Owen


Further Reading


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