The Potter's Complete Studio Handbook

The Potter's Complete Studio Handbook by Kristin Muller and Jeff Zamek

The Essential, Start-to-Finish Guide for Ceramic Artists

Format: Trade Paperback , 320 Pages
ISBN: 9781592537464
Publisher: Quarry Books
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$24.99 / £16.99 £13.59

Pottery making and wheel throwing is a timeless craft, perfect for beginner crafters and artisans who don't mind getting their hands dirty. The Potter's Complete Studio Handbook is the perfect guide for all levels to enjoy and master the art of pottery. The book is a compilation of the best features from The Potter's Studio Handbook and The Potter's Studio Clay and Glaze Handbook, bringing the best of hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques together with comprehensive instruction for clays and glazes.

Inside, you'll find:

—expert tips and tricks for selecting and preparing your clay, constructing slab projects, throwing and centering clay on the wheel, firing your project to perfection
—16 beautiful and functional projects with step-by-step photos using wheel-throwing, hand-building, and slipcasting techniques that can be done at home
—more than 40 formulas for unique clays and glazes with instructions on how to use them plus troubleshooting tips from the experts
—behind-the-scenes access to production and mining facilities 
. . . and much more!
Kristin Muller has been a ceramic artist for 20 years and an arts administrator for 10. Currently the education director for Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield, Connecticut, she has been teaching ceramics there for more than thirteen years. She holds a bachelor of science in studio arts with a concentration in ceramics from Southern Connecticut State University. Kristin has attended countless seminars and workshops with leading potters and clay artists and is currently an MFA candidate at Hood College. She has a studio and wood-fired Anagama kiln in eastern Pennsylvania, and she exhibits her work nationally and internationally.

As a ceramics instructor and consultant, Jeff Zamek has lectured and led workshops for more than 30 years, and has developed clay body and glaze formulas for ceramics supply companies throughout the United States. As a freelance writer, he has contributed articles to most major ceramics magazines, including Pottery Making Illustrated, Ceramics Monthly, and Ceramic Industry. Zamek is the author of What Every Potter Should Know and Safety in the Ceramics Studio, both published by Krause. He lives in Southampton, MA.
Format: Trade Paperback , 320 Pages
ISBN: 9781592537464
Illustrations: 600
Size: 8 in x 10 in / 203 mm x 254 mm

Foreword by Brother Iain Highet


Part One: Studio Requirements and Properties of Clay

Chapter One: Your Studio

Workspace Considerations

Physical Requirements for Setting up a Studio

Planning the Placement of Tools and Equipment

Chapter Two: Tools and Equipment

Essential Equipment

Tools for Hand Building

Tools for Wheel Work

Chapter Three: Clay

Types of Clay

Choosing a Clay Supplier

States of Clay

Conversion of Clay Through Fire

Ceramic Temperatures

The Origin of Clay

Dynamic Clay

Acquiring Clay: Buy Premixed or Mix Your Own?

Mixing Your Own Clay

Buying Premixed Clay

Choosing a Ceramics Supplier

Clay Body Formulas

Testing Clay Body Formulas

Troubleshooting Clay Imperfections

Chapter Four: Preliminary Clay Techniques

Managing Clay Consistency


Shrinkage and Drying

Keeping the Studio Clean

Reclaiming and Recycling Clay

Chapter Five: Hand Building

Pinch Pots

Stamping Clay

Slab Construction

Cutting and Joining Slabs

Slump and Hump Molds

Coil Building

Chapter Six: Throwing on the Potter’s Wheel

Setting Up the Wheel and Stool

Potter’s Wheel Dynamics

Developing Skills Through Repetition

Pottery Forms

Basic Wheel Techniques

Troubleshooting Common Throwing Problems

Chapter Seven: Decorative and Finishing Techniques

Choosing Glazes

Mixing Glazes

Safety Precautions

Gathering Supplies

Preparing Ware for Glazing

Chapter Eight: Glaze Chemistry

Desirable Glaze

Testing Glaze

Glazes for Foods and Beverages

Adjusting and Testing Glazes

Ask the Right Questions

Particle Size

Kiln Size and Atmosphere

Kiln Firing Cycle

Raw Material Substitutions

Metallic Coloring Oxide/Carbonates

Glaze Water and Soluble Materials

Adjusting Clay Content

Creating Test Tiles

Preparing the Glaze Mixture

Dipping Test Tiles

Useful Glaze Tests

Glaze Calculation Software

Chapter Nine: Troubleshooting Glazes

Glaze Blisters


Correcting Crazing


Correcting Shivering

S-Crack Issues

Five Steps to Prevent S-Cracks

Incorrect Coning Technique

Chapter Ten: Ceramic Kilns and Firing Work

Types of Kiln Firing

Pyrometric Cones

Chapter Eleven: How to Fire an Electric Kiln

Choosing and Preparing Your Electric Kiln

Bisque Firing

Loading Green Ware for Bisque Firing

Loading Glaze Ware for Glaze Firing

Keeping a Kiln Log and a Glaze Journal

Cooling the Kiln

Unloading the Kiln

Inside the Kiln

Changing Clay Color

Speckling Effect

Special Glaze Effects

Ceramics Showcase: Special Glaze Effects

Part Two: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hand Building and Pottery Wheel Projects

Chapter Twelve: Hand Building Projects

Slab Plates

Whimsical Teapot

Coiled and Paddled Jar

Chapter Thirteen: Beginning Wheel Projects

Faceted Utensil Holder

Bottles and Vases


Batter Bowl with Handle

Set of Mugs

Throwing Bowl Forms

Shaping a Constant Curve and Using a Throwing Rib

Principles of Trimming

Trimming Multiple Forms

Guide to Trimming Clay

Guide to Trimming Multiple Forms

Chapter Fourteen: Intermediate Wheel Projects

Plates and Platters

Trimming a Plate

Chip and Dip Dish

Casserole with Lid and Handles

Teapot with Lid, Spout, and Handle

Two-Part Vase

Chapter Fifteen: Clay and Glaze Formulas

Thrown Cylinder

Thrown Jar

Square-Sided Thrown Raku Covered Jar

Wheel-Thrown Altered Oval

Wheel-Thrown Unglazed Bowl

Slab Construction Oval Platter

Wheel-Thrown/Hand-Built Sculptural Disk

Wheel-Thrown Bottle

Wheel-Thrown Disk

Wheel-Thrown Bowl

Wheel-Thrown Oval Cylinder

Wheel-Thrown Covered Jar

Wheel-Thrown Bowl

Wheel-Thrown Goblet

Wheel-Thrown Covered Jar

Wheel-Thrown Bottle

Wheel-Thrown Raku-Fired Vase

Press-Molded Bowl

Wheel-Thrown Bowl

Wheel-Thrown Sculptural Rattle

Wheel-Thrown Jar

Wheel-Thrown Cup

Chapter Sixteen: Going into the Ceramics Business

Plan Your Business

Plan Your Production Time

Plan Your Purchases and Pricing

Marketing Your Pottery

Creating Functional Sets to Sell

Sources of Inspiration





About the Authors