The story of Pueblo Indian pottery

This short documentary from 1952 tells the story of the pottery made by the Pueblo peoples of Arizona  and New Mexico.

A sculpture about the passing of time

Kaoru Tsunoda talks about the making of a sculpture at West Dean College. Based upon a clock mechanism, the sculpture is about the passing of time and is a reminder that a little bit of our life disappears every second.

Papier mache sculpture installation

Leah De Prizio talks about her paper mache sculpture installation "Lignum Vitae" at the St. Botolph Club in Boston, MA in 2006.

Textured slab pottery

This video is part of the sharing art project of Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio. Intended for grades 5-10, this video starts with an introduction to pottery and ends with a class making their own work. The middle section follows George Sacco as he creates a giant decorative bowls using a slab pottery technique. He uses breakfast cereal to texture the slabs before fitting them over a large form. The unfinished seams between the slabs creates more textures, as does the rough edge of the slab after rolling. Each bowl is individually fired at low temperatures around 800 - 900 degrees in a simple outdoor brick enclosure with sawdust and straw.

Chip carving basic cut

Marty Leenhouts shows how to make simple three corner designs with a chip carving knife.



This is done in wood, but I wonder if potters or polymer clay artists ever use this technique?

Slab and coil pottery

Patricia Bridges of Bridges Pottery has been making pots for many years. Creating art with an emphasis on functional forms has always been a driving force in her work. Her work is primarily done on the wheel but she also creates a significant collection of hand built pieces made by slab construction. Watch her at work as she constructs a large slab and coil vessel. Its amazing how the multiple layers of glazing over the patterned surface makes the piece come to life.

Clay sculpting tools

Joanna Mozdzen explains the tools she uses for sculpting and texturing clay.



In this second video she is demonstrates how to add texture and finish sculpture in water based clay.

Polymer clay roses

How to make little roses from polymer clay. You can put them on clothes, bags, or make your own accessories.

What are ATCs and ACEO's ?



An offshoot of Artist Trading Cards (ATC) are "Art Cards, Editions and Originals" (ACEO) which are usually made to be sold rather than traded.

Make a tissue paper flower

Here is a simple way to make a flower from a few sheets of colored tissue paper. Use them for decoration around the home, or add them to a gift wrap.

Candle carving



You can see more of these beautiful candles at Holland House Candles™. If you fancy a go at carving some candles yourself, here are some resources that might help you get started:

The creative process of Dawn Youll

Dawn Youll is inspired by a painting and dissects the elements of signs, expressive marks and colors. She talks about stripping an object into two dimensional outlines then reconstructing a new three dimensional object from the drawings.

Making the Creative Process Visible - Full Films: Dawn Youll MA Ceramics UWIC 2008 from Dr. Natasha Mayo on Vimeo.

Forging a paper towel holder

If last month's table-top blacksmithing project whetted your appetite for a bit of forgework, here is another handy project you can make for the home.

Clay inlay

Ceramic artist, Rene Murray, demonstrates an inlay technique which she uses to make jars, vases, platters, sculpture and clay paintings. She inlays one type of clay into another making images appear with one clay as the 'figure' and the other as the 'ground.'

Adam Buick - inspired by landscape

Ceramic artist Adam Buick's pottery studio is near St.Davids on the west coast of Wales. He is inspired by the Pembrokeshire landscape, and incorporates slate pebbles and clay from the beaches there into his work which is based on Moon Jars, a Korean form dating from the Choson Dynasty. The name Moon Jar comes from their round shape and the milky color of the glaze, reminiscent of the full moon.

Papier mache masks

Firenze of Papier Mâché is a group of people who began making traditional Commedia dell’Arte masks and other works in papier mâché in the 1980s. Based in Florence, some of their pieces incorporate the work of  Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, along with other local influences. Here is a sample of their inspirational work.

Mixed media - acyrlic ink and paint

Artist Robert Joyner demonstrates his methods of using acrylic ink and paint. This tutorial has some fresh ideas to create more expressive and loose paintings.

Pennsylvania Redware Pottery

Pennsylvania Redware is one of the oldest pottery techniques in the U.S., introduced from Germany in the 1600's. Denise Wilz demonstrates the style of pottery using contempary materials and techniques. She has also written an article about Pennsylvania Redware. Kevin McConnell describes it as America's Folk Art Pottery.

The creative process of making a microcosm of one's world

Helen Pickles, during her BA Ceramics in Cardiff, is inspired by museum display cases and creates a quite complex multimedia microcosm of her world during the school year.

Making the Creative Process Visible - Full Films: Helen Pickles BA Ceramics UWIC 2008 from Dr. Natasha Mayo on Vimeo.

The Aran Sweater

To celebrate St. Patrick's day I thought I would share with you this delightful video about the Aran sweater. These sweaters are knitted with many distinct patterns of stitches, and were warm and rain resistant, ideally suited for the farmers and fishermen of the islands.

Situated in Galway Bay, the Aran Islands (Inishmór, Inishmaan and Inisheer)  have been inhabited for some 4000 years and the prehistoric forts of Dún Aengus and Dún Chonchúir are thought to have been built in the second century BCE.



Silversmith, Hiroshi Suzuki

Hiroshi Suzuki is a leading contemporary silver artist. Born in Japan he gained a BA in silver-smithing from Tokyo University, and an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1999. He creates complex forms from flat sheets of silver. Watch him at work as he anneals silver, raises a form from it with hammers, then uses hammers and a snarling iron to raise ridges in the work to add texture.


Suzuki believes that if a fully-developed idea already exists in his head there is little point in executing it. For him the excitement of creation lies in the way the piece evolves with his inner feelings. The inspiration for his work comes from within himself. As he works the metal, he feels that he is part of it, flowing and bending with it. He attributes this way of working partly to the Japanese aesthetics of freedom of expression and the finding of beauty in imperfection.

This second video is an artist statement by Hiroshi Suzuki:


Thoughts on art and assemblage

Gary Reef is an Australian mixed media artist who now lives in a remote part of Norway. In this video he shares his thoughts on art and assemblage as he works on his latest assemblage shrine.



Knitting; casting on

Casting-on is the first step in any knitting project. It is also used in other parts of a design, such as button-holes, and anywhere where new stitches are needed that do not depend on earlier stitches. Here is just one way of casting-on.

How to cast on for knitting from Maria Volk on Vimeo.

George Shaw exhibition, The Sly and Unseen Day

Artist George Shaw takes us on a private tour of his exhibition The Sly and Unseen Day at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England. His paintings, made in model maker's enamel paints, are of the postwar council estate outside Coventry where he grew up and has been painting for 15 years. the exhibition runs until 15 May 2011.

The book in context

Students studying for their BA (Hons) Book Arts and Design at University of the Arts London talk about their work shown in the exhibition, The Book In Context.

Interrogating not only the artifact's form, its structure and materiality, but also concepts of sequence and narrative, reading and authorship, Book Arts investigates the Book as a creative medium in its own right. The discipline moves from Fine Arts, Graphic Arts and Design and the traditions of book production and publishing and is delimited only by our evolving ideas of what constitutes 'bookness'.

Swill basket making

If yesterdays post made you wonder what a swill maker does, here is a video of Owen Jones, swill basket maker.

The rim of the basket is made from steamed hazel. The rest is made from oak which has been boiled, riven into thin strips and dressed with a knife. The whole process takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Hi-tech mixed media

This mixed media sculpture, 'Mystical Romantic Instrument', is made from a broken router, copper wire, flashing LED circuits from broken toys and a Picaxe 14m microcontroller.



If you want to add a microcontroller to your artwork, here are some books that will get you started.

The table-top blacksmith

This will probably make a real blacksmith laugh, but if you want to make some metal glow and beat it into new shapes, you don't need a full scale forge.

This lady likes her new torches that turn on and off with the flick of a switch. Judging by how quickly the metal looses its heat, I think it would be better to use a more traditional torch that could be left burning all the time. This would allow you to quickly reheat the work without having to put your tools down, change hands or wave a burning torch around, and generally work a lot safer.

Whatever you choose, be careful!



Paper Mache sculptor Jane Lennon

Jane Lennon shows some of her sculptures and talks about her paper mache techniques.



You can read more about Jane at the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online.

Sioux Pottery

Here is a nice little video by some budding young documentary makers at Sioux Pottery. The video shows how moulded pots are made, decorated with paint and then patterned.

Abstract Expressionism 101

Abstract expressionism was a post-World War II art movement, and the first American art movement to achieve worldwide influence.

This video looks at the work of Pollock, Kline, de Kooning, Gootlieb, Rothko, Frankenthaler, and Louis. Pay attention, as there is a quiz at the end:) The links I have chosen for each artist are from a number of different sources, and I hope you will spend some time at each website to explore many more works of art.


Abstract Expressionism from WVPT.

The creative process of Shauna Twardzik's ceramics

Shauna Twardzik talks about the creative process of building some ceramic forms during her MA studies at the University of Wales Institute at Cardiff, School of Art and Design.


Making the Creative Process Visible - Full Films: Shauna Twardzik Ceramics UWIC 2008 from Dr. Natasha Mayo on Vimeo.

A novel book construction

Conditions is a photobook by Peruvian/German photographer Andres Marroquin Winkelmann. The publishers blurb says the book shows pictures of people who long to be socially accepted without having to conform, people who are “on the road”, searching, hoping and doubting.

I was particularly taken by the way the book is constructed, and the novel way in which it can be browsed. As Modern Art Obsession puts it in their review, it allows the reader to create numerous diptychs, and hence every reading tells a slightly different story.