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As a Future Lights finalist, I was given the opportunity, to write this handbook, as a Future Lights in Ceramics bursary project. The Future Lights in Ceramics bursary is delivered by Staffordshire University and supported by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) funds.

1 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

Future Lights Future Lights is an annual competition for people in the early stages of a career in ceramics. Future Lights has the following aims: • Encourage cross-disciplinary learning and approaches by bringing together the ceramic designers, art historians, researchers, makers and artists of the future • Support people in the early stages of a career in ceramics by exhibiting their work at high profile ceramics exhibitions across Europe • Promote ceramics to a younger audience, though identifying potential ambassadors Future Lights is run by Porzellanikon and co-organized by the British Ceramics Biennial, the Design and Craft Council of Ireland and Staffordshire University.

I thank all the organizers and the supporters dearly for giving me the chance to write this handbook. I am truly grateful for the illustrations, made by Tjaša Pfajfar, thank you! Kristina Rutar

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1 INTRODUCTION The handbook is written according to my formal education and experiences I am gaining through teaching children, high schoolers and university students. My aim is to guide an elementary and high school teacher through different clay techniques, give suggestions for different art projects and explain their qualities, in order to help to understand the importance of working with clay and increase its use in schools. But this is not a traditional objective how-tomake book. It is written from the personal memories I had of clay. It goes from my first contact with clay, when anything I made

Kate Haywood

was collapsing, through my experiences at study of Art Education, when I had my first encounter with wheel-throwing and many other techniques, towards finding my voice in ceramics and sharing my knowledge with children and students through different workshops or lectures. The handbook is therefore very subjective, it is the only way I can express my feelings and experiences I had with clay. The content is delivered from a personal perspective and experiences, stories I encountered through the years of working with clay in order to offer a different perspective on clay and understanding the child's experience. As an educator, I believe a five-year-old child can be even more innovative and creative than students of art academies. Therefore, the handbook has suggested themes and artists, for which I believe can be presented/used to any age. 44

Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

The magic of clay is that it always opens new challenges, no matter how experienced or old you are. The tasks in this material can be easily adopted for younger children, as well as university students. It is our responsibility to present it age appropriate, which makes the difference in understanding the material. Through the handbook I suggest and present different artists which work in the medium of ceramics, I also added some other artists as a source of inspiration. Even though the techniques they use are too challenging for the children, we must not forget that it is very important to challenge their view on ceramics and standard techniques they usually learn through different workshops. The goal of this handbook is to spice up the tasks the teachers give to their pupils and to shake up their attitude towards working with clay. Throughout the handbook I am emphasizing the importance of the process and the theme, rather than the final product. It is not important how the final work looks like, but what was learned and experienced through working with clay. The tasks with techniques and materials are adjusted to the material, which can be easily found in Slovenia and is appropriate for the student's age. I hope the handbook will lead you through the clay rollercoaster I am still riding on.

Kristina Rutar

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2 WHY IS WORKING WITH CLAY IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN SENSORY DEVELOPMENT AND MOTOR SKILLS Clay offers infinite opportunities for developing sensory and motor skills. It is hard to think about any other material which goes through so many changes, physical and chemical and gives the chance to explore all the responsive sensory qualities. Neurons and synapses in the brain are generated through new experiences and clay gives a lot of immediate tactile and visual feedback. Because of its different characteristics through its process of drying, its texture and temperature it gives the children the opportunity to discover new sensations. Refining their feeling of texture, through using different types of grogged clay, feeling the difference of temperature, while wheel-throwing or holding bone dry clay. Clay can be cold and wet or hard and dry. The sense of weight, when you cut different pieces of clay and hold it in their hands. Understanding volume, when they roll a coil from a ball of clay.

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Clay also offers smell and hearing experiences. The sound, when you squish the clay between your fingers or a completely different sound when a fired piece falls and breaks on the floor. The smell of clay mixed with paper or its smell through the firing process. It is also visually challenging, since the clay changes its color and size through drying and later on firing. It opens up a lot of questions as, why did it shrink and why did it change the color? Why is it hard after firing and how come it is soft when it’s wet? Motor skills, fine and gross are developed through using different ceramics techniques. The potter's wheel for example offers the development of both motor skills. Gross motor skills through wedging the clay, where the whole body needs to be in tune while working on the pile of clay, also through centering the clay, where the whole body needs to collaborate to form a symmetric form, which can be later shaped6 into a vessel. 6

Fine motor skills are developed through opening and lifting the rotating body, as well as with other techniques, where you roll the clay into a slab, a coil, pinching, hitting, bending, twisting, stretching, squeezing, and poking the clay. Using different tools like rollers, wires, sponges also develop their sense for different materials and motor skills through using them on clay. Therefore, it is important to guide the child through all the physical states of clay and show different approaches to work with it. With handling clay, young people get prepared to work with other materials and tools during their education and later on, professional life. SENSORY DEVELOPMENT AND MOTOR SKILLS Clay offers the experience of 2D, 3D and the crossing between each other; you can roll a thin slab of clay, draw on it like on a piece of paper and then roll it into a cylinder. Clay demands to stand up, walk around the form, absorb it and rethink it. You can play with the volume, with its fullness and emptiness. The changes can be made fast, clay gives you the freedom of experimentation, but at the same time it also requires a lot of planning, foresight and thoughtfulness. With clay, you can construct and evaluate your ideas. You need to plan your work from the base up, otherwise the form could collapse or crack. With this process you start to understand the form, the shape, the perspective and its influence on an object. You also need to consider the clay's characteristics, the way it dries, the proportion between thick and thin parts, how and why it can crack, adding thin pieces to the form and how unstable they are if they are not properly connected with the form. But clay, with its plasticity and recyclable qualities motivates children to keep exploring and finding new solutions for the challenge. 7 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

DISCIPLINE AND FOCUS Clay demands respect. You need to follow its characteristics, to prevent a forced and imposed action which will end up in cracking or collapsing in time. Children’s enthusiasm and ambition are at this point tested; how long can one work on a vessel on the potter's wheel, how long can you wet and shape it without ruining it? It is essential that we guide them carefully through all the steps, explain all the stages and how to handle the clay. To children, clay is so interesting, that they are able to focus and work with it for longer periods, which is a good way to improve their attention span. Discipline is therefore an attribute, which is shaped through the child's consistent work with clay. SELF-EXPRESSION AND THERAPEUTIC EFFECT Clay has a natural appeal which invites children to have direct contact. The most beautiful aspect is most probably its flexibility, how it invites one to touch it and to explore it. It can be quickly changed from one shape to another, which gives us freedom of expression. Because of that, children are immediately motivated to work with clay for a longer period, discovering all the possibilities of changing the form. A lot of times there is no need to motivate someone to start working with clay, it is not like a blank piece of paper, where you have no point of reference of where to start. Clay initially has a shape, a texture, a temperature, a smell, and with its characteristics it invites you to start working with it. It is soft, so it can take one's attempts to express their self, for this reason it is also considered to be a therapeutic material. Clay provides children means to express their feelings and thoughts. It is especially essential for children who are preliterate and do not yet know how to read or write. Expressing themselves through clay is therefore crucial.

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They are able to form relations through building different structures and give them a role from their own life experience. With the interactions of the structures, they build stories and explain what they think or feel. Children are also able to physically express their emotions through clay, especially to release stress, where they are allowed to express negative feelings (such as anger, resentment, sadness) through actions (such as punching, hitting, slapping or throwing). It can be also used to create a metaphorical meaning through which symbolic equivalents to their thoughts and feelings are created. This is mostly used in art therapy processes. Through our actions, clay can absorb our feelings and emotions. It has a calming effect and relieves stress. For example, Dr. Matthews discovered that working with clay calms and helps children focus. In clay, there is a presence of vaccue bacterium, which produces serotonin in the brain stem by activating neurons and the serotonin. BRAIN ACTIVITY Considering the above mentioned features, we can conclude that working with clay boosts brain activity and the collaboration between the left and right hemisphere. The left hemisphere, being responsible for discipline and perservance needs to connect with the right hemisphere – creativity, imagination and associations in order to successfully cope with clay. This results in new neuron and synapses connections within the brain. SOCIALIZING Through group projects children not only socialize, but they also expand their horizons through sharing their ideas and thoughts. They motivate each other towards completing the work and boost each other's self-esteem by accepting other's opinion and using it in the project. 9 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

Co-operation gives the child a sense of acceptance and belonging. Through group projects children learn from each other, improve their knowledge about the medium, about the new techniques and about other possible solutions to the problem. Their creativity is encouraged through peer communication, exchanging ideas and problem solving tasks. Through group projects with clay children are also motivated to share their opinion, which later on influences their attitude towards public speaking.

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3 DELIVERING THE TASK/PROJECT, BUILDING A TOPIC GETTING TO KNOW THE CLAY For younger children, getting to know clay through its different physical forms, dry, plastic and liquid is going to be an interesting exploration. For the ages from 3 to 6 the difference will be very interesting, to touch it, smell it and realize, that it is the same material, just with different percentage of water. Also discovering how the physical forms connect through water, how dry clay becomes plastic with adding some water, or liquid, if you add more, and vice versa, with drying liquid clay on a plaster mould, transforming it into a more plastic state or dry it completely. The suggested task for learning about clay would be giving the children powdered clay and some water, to create their own clay body. In this way, they will learn from their own experience how much water is needed to form a plastic body, how much you need to create a slip. Recycling clay is also an appropriate task. They can learn that clay is not something you throw away, but you can re-use it. With recycling their motor skills develop through gripping, wedging, and mixing the clay.

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For older students the question which techniques to use for these different clay materials would be quite appropriate. For example - how to use slip? With a cast. How to use dry clay? We can crush it to dust and use it as engobe (add pigment), and make slip out of it, we can also roll plastic clay in it and give it a color structure and texture. The questions should be open in order to give enough space for creative thinking and making up new ways of using clay.

CREATING WITH CLAY Try to find new, unusual topics or artists, which challenge the medium or open new perspectives. Children can learn a lot from traditional techniques, but they will benefit a lot from learning about artists who question things with their work. They can reinvent a traditional technique and make it their own signature style, they can raise social questions, in11 which we are all involved. 11

It is important to give children the opportunity to work with challenging topics. Often we underestimate their capabilities and with that, we slow down their progress. This is especially common in working with clay. In schools, it is rarely used, so children do not have many opportunities to improve their technique. Teachers also repeat the same techniques over and over again, not raising the difficulty level. At the end of high school students are left with a basic knowledge of coilbuilding cups. Therefore, whenever the opportunity, give them clay and challenge them with new and fresh techniques, themes, artists. They will most definitely come up with a good project. HOW TO GIVE THE FINAL CRITIQUE First of all, clay is a natural resource that has no right or wrong way to be used. Therefore, forming a critique should be based on equal, constant criteria. Children will benefit the most from the critique, if they exchange and express their thoughts about each-others work. It promotes their critical and creative thinking, as well as prepares them for public speaking. Secondly, they can be their own critics and evaluate their work by themselves; do they think they achieved the goal they wanted to reach? What do they like about their work and why? Is there anything they would change? Could they express what they wanted better, if so, how? They should be given time for self-reflection of their own work. Our job is to find the positive attributes and later share our own observations with them. We can help the child with finding new solutions for the parts they are not satisfied with. But, what to do if the made work doesn’t fit any criteria given, if the child put no effort in the work or just simply was not able to achieve his or her own goals? Rather than giving negative criticism, it is better to face the issue by sensibly asking a question about the problematic parts. Rather than pointing out the flaws and discourage them from being creative, we can encourage

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children continuing to work by evaluating themselves, finding what is not working and trying to improve certain things at the next task/practice. Our goal should also be to improve children’s vocabulary, therefore it is important that we use rich language and teach them new terms. Clay offers a wide range of visual and sensual experience, which can be verbalized. SETTING AN EXHIBITION This part is frequently forgotten, but in my opinion, it is very important. Giving children the opportunity to select the works, which are in their opinion the most successful, giving them space and opportunity, to set their works for an exhibition. For group exhibitions, team work, critical thinking and collaboration are crucial to achieve a good exhibition. Children develop a sense for space, for how one piece affects the other, how the environment, the lighting, the texture of the walls, shape of the plinths affect the work. They develop a sense for expressing their mind and how to be respectful towards others. They get a sense that their work and effort matters. With solo exhibitions, children and students get a chance to see their work from a broader view. They need to think about the concept, about the story of their work, and how to get together a series of works. Setting a solo exhibition demands an inner reflection, on yourself, on your work. It helps you grow, personally and artistically. Children and students are able to experience the role of a curator, which is a very important role in the art world. Therefore, encourage and organize different exhibitions, children and students will learn a lot from it.

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4 WORKING WITH CLAY SAFETY RULES Even though clay is a very friendly and safe material, there are some commonsense rules to keep in mind while working in a studio. We need to make sure we ensure the children and the students can work in a safe environment.  Do not eat in the workshop  If working on the potter’s wheel, be careful with your long hair- tie it back, otherwise you might get it caught in the rotating wheel (warning from a personal experience). Be cautious when using sharp objects during wheel-throwing (also a warning from a personal experience) and secure loose clothing before using the wheel.

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 When glazing or using oxides or any coloring agent, be sure to wear a mask and a pair of gloves. These materials contain harmful to health ingredients, which are dangerous if they enter the body either through the respiratory system or the skin.  When working with dry clay, especially with clay dust, wear a mask. Clay dust can be very fine and contains silica, which is very harmful for our lungs can cause silicosis of the lungs. Therefore, keep your studio, equipment and tools clean. Clean them while the clay is still damp. Vacuum the floor, wear protective clothing, which you should wash it regularly. Also, when sanding and brushing your dry or biscuit-fired pots, wear a respirator.  Make sure the kiln has an appropriate exhaust14 outlet. 14

TOOLS Wooden boards are used as a base, on which you can build your work, turn it around. It is important that it is not lacquered, so that the wood can absorb water and the clay can shrink without sticking to the board, which can cause cracking of the clay Cloth can be used as a surface to roll the clay on. Rolled on a board, it can stick on it and it is hard to take it off, without damaging the slab Rolling pin is a handy tool for rolling the slabs. With it you can also use rolling slats, which help you to have an even thickness throughout the whole slab Kidneys, plastic cards or ribbon tools are used for modeling and wheel-throwing the clay. They help you to smooth the surface or to shape the curve you want to model Wire is used for cutting the clay, from the board, it needed, from the potter’s wheel or from a block of clay Hardwood tools are used throughout modeling or wheelthrowing the clay Hole-cutters are used for perforating the clay, in wet, leatherhard or dry clay Needle is also used for perforating the clay, also to check the thickness of the pot’s foot on the potter’s wheel Trimming tools are used to trim the vessels on the potter’s wheel, you can also use them during the hand-building process, to take away excess clay Sponge can be used to smoothen the surface. It is also a very handy tool for wheel-throwing, for wetting the clay through the process. Banding wheels help you see the whole form by turning it around Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

Bench scraper is used for mould making and cleaning the clay from the surfaces


Banding wheels help you see the whole form by turning it around Bench scraper is used for mould making and cleaning the clay from the surfaces Mask is used when sand brushing and glazing your work, or when you are making a mould. It is important to wear it with materials, which can make a lot of dust, breathing it is health threatening Gloves, plastic ones are used for glazing, in order your skin is not in contact with it, the stronger, from the cloth ones are used for taking hot ceramics from the kiln Brushes are used for decorating ceramics pieces Sandpaper is used for brushing small details, achieving perfect surface Calipers are used for measuring the size of certain parts of the wheel-thrown vessel

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5 WHAT IS CERAMICS? Clay is the fundamental ingredient of ceramics. It is transformed into ceramics with firing on high temperatures. Clay forms primarily around large granite outcrops, but is found all around us, in gardens, fields, and alongside riverbanks or roadsides. It contains alumina and silica, as well as small quantities of other minerals, and originates from feldspathic or granite rock, originally molten when the earth was formed, and transformed over millions of years by decomposition and weathering. Different proportions of the main and subsidiary minerals give each clay its individual qualities (Warshaw, 2006). The material is delivered from the composition of predominantly silica bearing rocks. This decomposition is propagated by the elements: heating, cooling, weathering and the actions of weak acids which together, over millions of years, break down the parent rock to create deposits of primary clay known as kaolinite. If these deposits are subsequently moved by the action of water in the form of streams and rivers, the resulting deposits are known as secondary clays, or, as they are commonly termed, ball clays (Brierley, 2014). With the deposition from their primary source, the clay collects different impurities, such as

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iron, titanium and magnesium, also organic matter. Because of the abrasion of water bone sediments, the clay particles are ground into finer sizes, which gives the secondary clay higher plastic qualities. EARTHERWARE Can be fired from 900°C to 1100°C. It is a low-fired type of clay. It is the most common accessible clay, since we can find it almost all over the world. Its color variates from white - grey to orange and red, depending on its organic and mineral content. Because of its plasticity, it is very suitable for wheelthrowing, modeling and hand building. We use it to produce wide range of products, from bricks and roof tiles to earthenware pottery. This type of clay is relatively soft and porous when fired, therefore it is very handy for baking bread in this type of earthenware or for carrying water- the water goes in the clay body, isolates the 26 whole ware and keeps the 17 26 water cold. However, earthenware is rarely used as a tableware. 17

STONEWARE The temperature of firing ranges from 1200°C to 1280°C. The stoneware bodies are composed mixture of clays and minerals, also sand or grog. After high firing it, it gives us a feel of stone, by its durability, strength and low water absorption rate. It is appropriate for outdoor sculptures and as functional ware. It is appropriate for wheel-throwing, modeling and hand building.

PORCELAIN Porcelain can be fired from 1250°C to 1350°C. It is the purest of all clay bodies and known for its translucency when it is thin and fired to high temperature. It is strong, durable, but when working with it, extremely fragile. Porcelain contains 50-60% of china clay, which it makes not very plastic. Therefore, it makes wheel-throwing and hand building very challenging. The most common way of handling porcelain is by slip casting.

CLAYS WITH ADDITIVES Grog, pigments, paper are just some of the materials which can be added to clay, to change its characteristics and usefulness. Grog helps us to build bigger and stronger sculptures, while adding paper to the clay allows us to shape clay to its minimum thickness and imitate paper itself. With different additives we can reduce the shrinkage rate or better control the stress level during drying and firing. With coloring clay, we can play with the aesthetics of the final piece. You can also use other organic material, such as rice, coffee beans, wax, sawdust, you name it, which give a special texture to your final form.

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Chrissy Silver HOW TO STORE THE CLAY? Clay is usually bought in airtight plastic bags, which protect clay from getting dry. However, storing it for a long time does have an effect on the drying of the clay, even if protected. I suggest you avoid storing clay for a too long period (1 year), since the plastic bags can have small holes, which increase the chances of getting the clay dry. You can also wrap the clay with damp clothing, which maintains the humidity of the atmosphere within the plastic protection. Try to store the clay in darker, damper spaces. HOW TO PREPARE THE CLAY? Before using clay, purchased from a ceramics supply store, you must prepare it for the use. The packaged clay might contain air bubbles, which can cause the clay to break during drying and firing. The clay might also be inconsistent, which means you can have within a package of clay parts, which are soft and wet, and parts which are harder and dryer. You need to ensure that the clay has a consistency throughout its mass, otherwise it may crack while slab or coil building, it is also impossible to wheel-throw it. Therefore, it is important, that we wedge and knead it with our hands as good as possible. There are three ways of doing it. I do highly suggest you check the YouTube channel (provided at the end of the handbook) for a visual representation of the process. 19 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

WEDGING THE CLAY is the first step towards preparing the clay for the kneading. The clay mass is cut into pieces, which are rearranged by slamming pieces onto each other. With this you change the order and the consistency of the clay, you mix firmer and softer clay. This helps you to reassemble them into a new order, which helps you to knead the clay to move more fluently. SPIRAL KNEADING With this type of kneading, the clay forms a spiral, which resembles a snail’s house. It usually used for bigger pieces of clay, otherwise ox-head technique is an easier one. To successfully knead in this technique, place your hands on opposite sides of a rounded block of clay. With the right hand, push down, in order the clay rolls forward, at the same time, you control the clay and prevent it from going sideways, with the left hand. Then, with the left hand you lift the clay, rotate it counter clock-wise and place the right hand to repeat the first step. When you push down and rotate, try to use your body as much as possible.

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OX-HEAD KNEADING Ox-head kneading got its name by kneading the clay into a shape of an ox’s head. You fold the clay in on itself, by using the heel of the both hands to exert a downward and sideward pressure. Then lift the clay towards yourself, just to turn the clay around and press it downwards. With this grip you begin a rotation of the mass. The more you kneed, the more the mass will be rotated, therefore, kneaded and prepared for the next step. When you cut the kneaded piece of clay, if you worked on it correctly, there should be no lumps, air pockets and the clay has an even consistency.

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HOW TO RECYCLE THE CLAY? Unfired clay can be recycled at any time and re-used afterwards. For recycle the clay you will simply need a bucket, water and a thick surface made of plaster. First of all, you need to let the cut, broken small pieces of clay dry to bone hard state. Maximum air contact and heat will accelerate the drying process. Next step is to cover the clay with water inside a large plastic bowl. We had to dry it first so that in this steps the clay can get soaked evenly, which will allow us to recycle it easier in the next steps. Let it soak overnight. All the excess water, which has not been absorbed can be poured away, while you take the soaked clay and thick layers put it on a thick plaster bats. They need to be dry in order to absorb all the excess water within the clay. Leave it to rest, until it gains back its firmness and plasticity. At that point, all you need to do is to wedge and knead it properly.

WHAT HAPPENS THOROUGHT THE FIRING PROCESS? FIRING PROCESS It is good to know the firing process, not only for the children and the students to learn it, but also for understand what is happening to the clay during the firing and to figure out if there is possibly anything going on. Last time, my students panicked because there was an awful smell coming out of the kiln. It smelled like burning. Because of the degree of the kiln and the type of the smell, we understood that it was just the paper in the paper clay burning out and causing the smell. Therefore, know the process and maintain a safe environment in the studio. Before firing clay pieces, make sure that the clay is completely dry. The work needs to dry in a warm environment, with good 22 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

ventilation. With the drying of clay, because of the loss of the water, the piece shrinks a little bit. The shrinkage depends on the type of clay, some shrink more than the others. The approximate shrinkage is around 5-10%. During the drying process, the clay’s state changes. First, it was plastic and we could model it, because of the presence of water, which gives clay its plastic malleable qualities. With the drying and water vaporizing, the clay becomes stiffer and stiffer, from leather hard state to bone dry state, at which point clay can easily break. It is not flexible anymore and we need to hand it carefully. Not sure if the clay is properly dry? In such cases I usually feel its temperature with my cheek. If its room temperature, then it is dry, if you experience of cold, moist surface, leave it for another day to dry completely. When dry, it is ready to go into the kiln and through the firing process

1. PHASES DURING BISCUIT FIRING 20°C-140°C during the first phase, the water, which is within the clay body, interlayer-water, starts to vaporize. During this phase the firing must be slow, to allow the water to properly vaporize, therefore it is good to pause the process at 140°C, maintain the temperature and then continue with increasing the temperature. This will prevent the pieces from shattering and cracking. The thickness of the body increases and it is denser, we must be careful with thicker pieces, and which need more time to release the inter-layer water. 140°C-500°C the interlayer-water is released, at 225°C organic materials within the clay body start to oxidize, which can cause an unpleasant smell, if using a lot of organic materials. 500°C-650°C the crystal bound water starts releasing, as in the first stage, the firing speed should be slowed down. The release progresses and increases at 550°C, keeping the firing 23 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

speed slow, you reduce the tension within the body and temperature lag within the piece. 650°C-850°C the organic matter in the body cells go through full oxidation, which causes the release of gasses. The thicker pieces need a longer time to go through the oxidation fully. 850°C- TOP TEMPERATURE, the firing speed can be increased, the temperature should exceed at least 900°C to achieve minimum firing strength. The kiln can be opened when the temperature drops under 50°C, or, when you are able to take the pieced with bare hands. Premature opening will cause tension in the work, which can cause cracking. 2. PHASES DURING GLAZE FIRING 20°C-200°C, the water which was absorbed from the glaze mixture is removed out of the body. During this phase, if you fire the piece, which has not been dried fully too fast, it will cause glaze defects. 200°C-650°C, around 575°C, it comes to quartz inversion, which it makes a critical stage. By slowing down the firing speed, you reduce the tension and the temperature lag within the piece. 650°C- 200°C below the top temperature of the glaze, the sintering of the glaze starts and the firing speed can be increased. At 200°C below the top temperature fusion of the glaze starts, which means, the formation of the body-glaze layer takes place. soaking at top temperature, fusion of the glaze, the formation of the body-glaze continues. Soaking it on the temperature evens the temperature differences in the kiln and lets the formation to complete fully. 24 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

COOLING PROCESS To the 850°C, fast cooling is advised, which will reduce the chance of pinholes in the glaze. Pinholes can happen because of the formation of gases in the glaze or body. Crystallization of matt glazes starts and continues all to 700°C, when components that have been fused into a glassy state become rigid. At 575°C we again hit the critical stage, where slowing down the cooling speed will reduce the temperature lag and consequently avoids the tension within the piece. Premature opening of the kiln can cause tension in the work, especially if the body has a high expansion rate. 3. SUGGESTED FIRING PROCESSES Following, I am suggesting some firing processes. Keep in mind, firing clay is like baking and cooking. Each person has their own way of doing it, to achieve their personal taste and signature dish. The same is with ceramics, artists seek for a very long time the program of firing, which fits their work the best. Therefore, whoever you ask, they will advise you to fire in a slightly different way. However, the essential points of firing are the same. 1. For thick sculptures To fire thick clay objects, you need to have a slow firing process. The pieces are under a lot of pressure and the water inside the pieces needs time to fully and properly evaporate out of the pieces. Suggested program:  20°C-140°C: 35°C-40°C/hour, 30-minute or 1hour soaking on 140°C  140°C-550°C: 45°C/hour, 30-minute soaking on 550°C  550°C- to the top temperature: 50°C/hour, 20-minute soaking 25 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

2. For simple pottery For the pieces, which are thin, open and done properly, you do not have to worry about the pressure. Yes, the process is the same, the water needs to evaporate, but because of the thickness of the pottery, the process is faster than with very thick pieces. I suggest:  20°C-140°C: 60°C/hour, 20-30-minute soaking on 140°C  140°C-550°C: 65°C/hour, 15-minute soaking on 140°C  550°C- to the top temperature: 70°C/hour, 15-minute soaking 3. Glaze firing Since the pieces have already been fired, we do not need to go as slowly as with bisque firing. However, the water in the glaze and quartz inversion do not let you go crazy with raising the temperature too fast:  20°C- 550°C: 90°C/hour  550°C- to the top temperature: 100°C-110°C/hour, 15minute soaking

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6 FORMING CLAY PINCHING Pinching is probably the most natural and instinctive technique of the modeling. Children have a natural reaction to model the clay with pinching, so it is important to direct their grips towards forming a stable form, with not to thin vessel walls. The pinching technique gives you an effect of a dimpled fruit, but experienced pinchers are able to use the technique to an incredible precision.

When pinching, you take a piece of clay, kneed it and roll into a sphere. Holding it comfortably in your left hand, you press with the thumb of the right hand down the center of the ball. At the deepest point, but still leaving enough clay for the bottom, you start to pinch it, with pressing your thumb and index finger, after each press, you rotate the ball and continue pinching, moving slowly towards the top edge. With left hand you support the form, when pressing, try to use as equal strength as possible, in order to get an evenly thick wall. The basic principle of pinching is supporting one side of the clay, while working on the other side, during the whole process. If having the difficulties of keeping the shape together, let the clay rest and get a little bit drier and firmer. It will keep the form stable and prevent it from collapsing.

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BASIC TASKS Task for younger children: for the youngest ones (age 2-3), holding, pinching clay is the first step towards getting to know the material. Let them explore its characteristics with no expectations. With older children (up to age 6) motivate them towards forming a sphere and teach them how to use the strength equally throughout the whole process. Task for elementary school: forming a cup Task for high schoolers: forming a hollow form: form two pinched sections and join them together - cross-hatch the edge of each sections and cover them with the slip. Press together and smudge them together. COIL BUILDING This most common and known technique enables to build simple or complicated forms, small or large. The walls can be thick or thin, it also offers you the chance of mixing different colored clays.

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It gives you the freedom to stop whenever you want and continue later (with protecting the top of the piece of drying of course). You can leave your fingertip print in the clay structure, or you can smoothen it with a kidney or a trimming tool. The coiling technique offers different approaches, so it is easy to find a suitable, personal way of how to work with it. Some use it with slip, to stick firmly the coils together, others build without it, just smudging the coils together. There is also a technique of building with strips, which enable you to build bigger and thicker forms.

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When coil building, first have a clear plan of what you want to form. Is it going to be big or small? According to the size, the decision of how big the base is going to be and how thick the coil is going to be is made. Take a piece of clay and roll it into a slab. This is going to serve you as a base for your work, so you must make sure that it will give good support to the whole form. Take a piece of clay and squeeze it into a fatter coil, which you then roll it between the working surface and your fingers. For children this is an important experience, seeing how mass can transform from one form into another. The shape changes, but the amount of the mass is the same. Attaching the first coil to the base, you need to make sure that is jointed together perfectly. Therefore, it is advised you scratch the surface of the base, apply slip and stick the coil on it. Smear the clay from the coil to the base, in order to fully connect the two parts. From that point on, it is important that you work with the coins of the same thickness, joining the upper coil to the lower one with smearing the upper one down, to stick with it. To make it more stable, some potters also smear the inside part of the form, just to push it from the lower coil up. As mentioned, some artists always use slip between the coils, which I would highly recommend if you work with strips. If needed, using kidneys or wood tools can help you in shaping the form, creating curves or to smoothen the surface. As with the pinching technique, make sure the thickness in as even as possible. If there are differences in thickness, the form dries unevenly, which can cause the cracking of the clay. If working on a bigger piece, you should build the form in more stages, leaving the clay to dry and become more firm and stable for the weight and pressure of the next stages. Be careful not to dry the clay over the leather hard stage, otherwise you will not be able to continue with your work. The dry clay cannot be joined with the wet one and it will lead to cracking. 30 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

BASIC TASKS: Task for younger children: to age of three, rolling a coil, learning how much force is enough to roll an even coil, how to correctly merge them together. For older, building a cup. Task for elementary school: building a vase Task for high schoolers: drawing a plan, building it with coils SLAB BUILDING Slab building can be challenging, since you need the clay to get dry to leather-hard stage, to shape it properly. The technique is most appropriate for building geometrical forms with straight edges, for works which demand precision. However, if the slab is soft, you can also achieve organic, curvy, soft forms. For this technique the clay must be properly prepared, otherwise the slabs will crack. Lay the clay on the clothing, which will allow you to separate the clay from the surface. Clothing also gives a surface texture, for children it will be very interesting to try different textiles and the texture they make in clay. With the help of rolling slats and a roller, roll the clay all over the surface, in order to get an evenly rolled slab. At a leather hard state, cut the wanted shape, lift it from the surface and use it as a part of your form. Cutting squares, you can build a cube, by sticking six square slabs to each other. Cylinders can be easily made from a longer rectangle, which is simply rolled and joined.

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BASIC TASKS: Task for younger children: how to use a roller, how to create an evenly thick slab. Task for elementary school: rolling a slab, rolling it into a vase or cutting and joining it into a form (look at Ann Van Hoey) Task for high schoolers: rolling several slabs, joining them together in a form. SLIP CASTING What is a slip and how to make it? Slip is a liquid clay, which is used for casting in moulds. It is usually used for functional ceramics in order to produce series of products, but it can also be used to produce unique pieces of art. It can be used to produce tiles, reliefs or 3D forms. When making the mould, it should stand for one whole day, before we use it. The clay needs its time to properly soak all the water. The slip must me mixed and stirred well so there are no air bubbles or particles, which would cause casting faults. You can buy already prepared slips in the ceramics supply shops, but you can also easily make your own. Use 6075% of dry clay in powder and add around 40-25% of water. What is a mould and how to make it? Moulds are used for producing series of a form, but also for making forms, which can be later on assembled, for making decor elements or parts, which are added to other forms. It can also serve as a base for press moulding, which means you work with plastic clay and model it in the mould or as a support for hand-building. Moulds are usually made of plaster, but the material can diversify according to the technique you will use the mould for. 32 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

! Caution: when working with plaster, use a protection mask and gloves ! Mixing and pouring plaster – one-piece mould The amount of water depends on the plaster itself, some demanding less water and some more. It is advised to measure the proportions by weight especially when a greater precision is required. If the plaster is going to be waterier, the plaster itself is going to be more fragile, and vice versa, if there is more plaster, it will make it stronger and less porous. For slip casting the plaster needs to be porous, so be careful to not go over the top with the plaster when making the mould.

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First, form the positive object/form from the clay. We are making a one-piece mould, therefore choose a simple, symmetrical shape. Having modeled it, calculate the amount of plaster needed for the mould. Protect the modeled form with a cylinder form with a cottle or plastic or wood. You should make the walls firm and secure, tie a string around it. Between the wall and the model, there should be enough space, for the final mould to be storng and stable and able to absorb the water from the slip. Protect the wall and consolidate it to the base with clay. Then pour the required room-temperature water into a plastic container and sift the plaster in. Continue sifting it in until you notice it breaking in small peaks through the surface. Give it a minute or two to soak up the water and then start mixing it with your hand, breaking the lumps and removing the air bubbles out. When the plaster begins to feel heavy and warmer, stop mixing it, because it is ready to pour it in the cottle with the model. With a thin continuous stream pour the plaster over the model and pour it to around 5 cm over it. Before the plaster has set, tap or shake the board, so the air bubbles in the plaster get removed. The plaster will get hotter and hotter and when getting cold, you will know it is setting down. Before using it, dry it, otherwise it will not be able to serve its purpose. How to slip cast? When the mould is completely dry, so the wall thickness can be build-up, we can start slipcasting. The mould needs to be clean. The pouring of the slip needs the right timing- pouring it too fast can cause inclusion of air. Pouring it too slowly will cause visible rims on the surface of the casted form. Pour the slip to the top of the mould, creating bulge of slip. During the casting process you will need to add additional slip34 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

the mould will soak all the water, causing the slip level to lower, to avoid uneven edge, refilling is necessary. Leave it for a certain amount time, to reach the wanted thickness. You can check the thickness by blowing on the edge of the slip - the slip will slightly remove, unveiling the thickness of the wall. To repeat the casting with the goal of producing equally thick walls, use a timer, and set the time, so all of the casted slips will have equal time to reach the wanted thickness. When achieving the wanted thickness, pour the slip back in the bucket, and let the mould turned around, so that the excess slip slips out. When the slip gets into a plastic state, turn it around and cut around the rim of the mould, taking away the excess clay and allow the slip casted form to dry properly. Not cutting the excess clay will cause problems, as the form will not be able to shrink naturally, which will cause deformations and cracks. BASIC TASKS: Task for younger children: Relief: children model a relief on a thicker slab. Protecting it with creating the walls, it is ready to be casted: pour plaster in it and leave it to dry. Then turn it around, remove the clay and a reverse image will appear. Task for elementary school: one piece mould Task for high schoolers: two piece mould

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CARVING AND HOLLOWING The basic principle of this two techniques is working with a solid block of clay. With carving, we work with the outside part, working on it like on wood or stone. With hollowing with a loop tool, we first either model or carve the basic form, then we cut the form in half, hollow each part, making an even thickness of the wall (2-3 cm, depends on the size of the form), throughout the form. Then cross-hatch the edges, apply slip and stick together the two halves and seal the join. The advantage of the carving technique is that the clay goes through different drying stages and we can take each stage in our advance, working on the form until the clay is bone-dry. The problem with the technique is that it is hard to avoid cracking during drying or firing due to uneven wall for the form, to fast drying of firing according to its thickness, or because it wasn’t properly kneaded. With hollowing, we need to make sure we hollow it when it is leather hard, so it keeps the form and doesn’t collapse. We also need to make sure that the two halves are joined properly, otherwise the parts of joining can result in cracking. Also make sure to leave a hole in the form, so the air can go out of the form during the firing. The two techniques can be easily used together. BASIC TASK: Task for younger children: model a full piece of clay, by cutting, pressing, adding clay Task for elementary school: carving a full piece of clay, hollowing it Task for high schoolers: building on several pieces, carving and hollowing them, then puzzle and build them together, in order to form a sculpture

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WHEEL-THROWING Understanding the importance of wheel-throwing There are many parents who roll their eyes when it comes to creativity and investing in children’s experiences in ceramics. I had a parent who said that there is no point to pay for his child to try wheel-throwing, since he will never do it in hers/his professional life. That's when I give them this example; do you have a driver’s license? If yes, are you a professional driver? You cannot make every task you assimilate, a profession, but that doesn’t mean it is not useful in your daily life. Do you remember the first time when you sat in the car? When you tried to turn it on, step on the speed, but there were so many things you had to do first - lower the lever, step on the clutch... well, I do remember my first experience - the car died several times before I made some progress. When I had to see all the corners at the same time, if someone will jump on the street or when I had to turn left and predict and adjust the speed according to it? Or immediately stop, because a ball rolled on the street? Driving a car is like wheel-throwing just that it is way more fun and children can develop so many motor and sensory skills with it. Let me explain why. When wheel-throwing, you have to combine the wetness of clay - it shouldn't get too wet, otherwise it will collapse and it shouldn't be too dry, otherwise it is hard to wheel-throw it. It also shouldn't get muddy, otherwise it will stick on your hands. While thinking how much water to use for wheel-throwing you also need to control the speed pedal. The speed used depends on the stage of wheel-throwing you are at. For centering and opening, the highest speed can be used, but like with driving, if you are not skilled enough, you should start slowly. For lifting, you have to adjust it again - the higher the vessel, the slower the speed. At the same time, you need to think about the position of your hands, body and the shape you want to create. The hands need to be synchronized at all times. 37 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

They need to be tuned with the speed of the wheel and at the same time they need to give just the right amount of pressure. If you press too strong, the vessel will most probably get scraped, not pressing enough will not give any changes to the clay body. But, what does this have to do with driving the car? Combining the hands and legs is the same as in the car - you need to coordinate them in the same way to be successful. Paying attention through considering all the different factors at wheel-throwing is the same as making sure no - one will jump on the street or predicting the turn in front of you – the speed needs to be adjusted if you want to get through it. When wheel-throwing, you need to learn when to speed up (to be able to shape the vessel), when to slow down (to make sure the vessel is not thrown out of the center and the wheel), when to press more (so you can lift the clay), when to press less (to maintain the thickness of the clay), all at the same time as regulating the shape, the wetness of the clay and predict when the vessel is done and you need to stop - overdoing it can end in a pile of wet clay.

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The potter's wheel is also responsible for developing eye-hand, hand-hand and hand-leg coordination. Eyes must follow the form in order to guide the hands. The left and right hand need to be synchronized, they need to collaborate in order to center, lift and shape the clay. If the hands get the information that the clay is spinning too fast, the leg needs to react and stop on the pedal, to slow down the machine. Wheel-throwing is a whole body experience. But let’s forget about the parents, what about the children? Have you ever met a child who would not want to try to wheelthrow? I haven't. Working in a pottery shop where we daily had children's workshops, there was always someone who asked what this machine is and how does it work. And when they sit behind it, it is a whole new experience. Just discovering it, the speed pedal, how the disc rotates, how the speed changes, what happened if you apply the water, if you slide your fingers through it,... all the feelings before even putting the clay in the center. To conclude, the potter's wheel offers a unique learning experience for children, developing their physical and sensory skills. How to work with children on the potter's wheel? My number one rule is; they need to have a personal experience with it. It doesn't matter what they make, but rather what they learn and experience. Therefore, I help them very little, I let them try to go through each step at a time independently. Yes, you do have children who want you to do everything for them, so they would brag at the end about the vessel they made, but let's keep in mind, you have achieved nothing with supporting such behavior - the child learned and experienced nothing.

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THE WHEEL-THROWING PROCESS CENTERING I advise you to start with 500 g clay. First, knead it well, in order to prepare it for the wheel-throwing. It is important there are no air bubbles and that the clay body is consistent. First, throw the clay directly into the center. If it goes a little out of it, you can push it towards the center, but make sure that is well stuck to the wheel. Sit close to the wheel, make sure you sit comfortably. The hands need to collaborate all the time, throughout the whole wheel-throwing process. The arms need to be fixed on your hips, making sure that they won’t shake during the process, but will be stable and firm. Connecting the arms with your body will also allow you to include your body in the wheel-throwing process. A lot of times people are surprised how strong potters are. Truth to be told, it’s all about the angles you hold and including whole body in the process. To center, tuck your elbows into the side of your body, they can also lean on the potter’s wheel, if possible. Position your body over the clay, your nose should be right above the center of the clay. Then, choose the right speed. If the wheel rotates too slowly, the clay will move your hands and it will control them, therefore, it is going to be really difficult to center it. Use the fastest speed to center the clay. Wet your hands and place your right hand horizontally on top of the clay, to exert downward pressure - make sure that the hand covers the whole top, otherwise you will create a cone. The left hand is on the left side of the clay, putting pressure into the center. It needs to be steady and in a vertical position against the clay. Shape a half-sphere shape, be careful not to flatten it into a pancake. You need enough material for the following steps. The clay is centered, when your hands are completely still. It is said, that centering is one of the hardest parts of wheelthrowing, so don’t be discouraged if it won’t go as you wanted. 40 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

CONING UP When the clay is centered, it’s time to cone it up. It is important not to miss this step, because it is used to eliminate unevenness in the clay. You might knead it well, but a lot of times, especially if you are a beginner, you create unevenness in the clay during centering. It is also important, because it helps to align the clay particles into a spiral, which makes the throwing easier. For this step, place the wet hands around the clay at its base and squeeze them together. Force the clay upward into a taller cone shape. Be careful not to grab the clay with your fingers, you could tear it off. Also make sure that throughout the whole process, your hands are well wet, otherwise the clay will stick to your hand, which will cause spinning in the opposite way, which is exactly what we do not want to happen. When squeezing, move the hands up the cone and continue to squeeze it inward and upward. When the clay is narrower, the hands can overlap. When the clay is coned up, it is time to push it back into a half sphere shape. Place the right hand on 41 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

top, as if you were centering. Exert a downward pressure, while you embrace the clay with your left hand, offering support and making sure it doesn’t get out of center. The hands need to be connected, the fingers of the right hand should connect with the left hand in order to avoid forming a mushroom shape, which can catch air within the clay body. Push and form the clay to the half sphered shape. Repeat the coning process two or three times. Make sure that the base is not too wide, otherwise it will cause some problems with the next step. Also make sure that the top of the clay is a little bit flat, it will help you have an even wall, during the next steps.

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OPENING The goal is to shape the clay into a donut shape, which is later lifted and thinned. First step is to push the thumb slowly in the center of the clay. You can do this with either one or two thumbs, some even use index and middle finger. The wheel should be rotating quite fast, allowing us, to have the opening under control. When opening, make sure your finger is directly in the middle of the clay. Push the finger down, leaving at last 0,5 cm of the base. It is important not to go too deep, otherwise you will cut off your base, while taking off your vessel. Also make sure not to deepen it under a wide angle. You should deepen it in a vertical direction, properly preparing the form for the next step - use the thumb or index and middle finger and carefully force the clay towards yourself. With this, you will be widening the form.

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To have an even thick base, make sure that you apply an even press on the base of the clay throughout opening it with your fingers. They should be placed vertically to the base, at the point where you made the hole and then evenly, with the speed of the wheel, push the clay out. Try not to exaggerate with opening it - otherwise the vessel will collapse.

LIFTING THE WALL At this stage, we will lift the walls up, creating a cylindrical shape. Form the index finger on the right hand into a letter C. place the knuckle on the base of the vessel, on the outside part. It should be placed at the position of 5 o’clock. Go with your left hand on the inner side of the clay, place your fingers at the same point and with a slight pressure, start evenly lifting both hands vertically upwards. The pressure should be equal on both hands. Be careful not to press too hard, otherwise you 44 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

will tear the clay apart. Not pressing enough will result in clay not changing its form. Repeat this move until it reaches the desired height.

BASIC TASKS: Task for younger children: introduce them to the potter's wheel, warn them about safety rules (let's not forget the machine is connected to the electricity) let them discover its characteristics, how it works. They will be pouring the water all over it, but that are their first steps towards understanding how the potter's wheel works. Help them through the next steps. Task for elementary school: challenge them to center the clay correctly. Inputting enough strength, placing the hands correctly, control the speed can be a very motivating challenge for them. Help them through the next steps. Task for high schoolers: creating a cylinder, going a step further, from centering and shaping the clay on the potter's wheel. They need to understand when to slow the speed, the strength of lifting the clay. Help them shape a steady flat form. 45 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved



Maciej Kasperski 46 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved


Jeannine Marchand 47 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

Ann Van Hoey


Ilona Van Den Bergh 48 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved


Mieke de Groot


Božena Sacharczuk 4949 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

7 DECORING CLAY The surface of the clay can be decorated or protected with engobe, slip, underglaze or glaze. They can give various effects or provide durability and water resistance. Let’s take a look what they are and how we can use them ENGOBE The base of engobe is liquid clay-slip, to which pigments and oxides are added. They are applied to leather hard clay with a brush or a sponge. It offers quick and easy effects, therefore it is one of the most suitable techniques for children. They are applied in a liquid state and with a brush. Engobe can be applied as a drawing, or as a surface from which you scratch the image off, in order to uncover the lower layer. Placing different shapes of wet paper on the surface serves as a protection, when you apply engobe on the surface. Removing the newspaper, the original color will be shown. With this technique, different patterns and layers can be made. They give a dry, mat surface and they do not make the ceramics piece water resistant.

UNDERGLAZE Underglazes are pure pigments and oxides, mixed with water and applied with a brush to a bisque fired clay. They also offer dry, mat effect, but for functionality, such decorated wares are glazed with transparent glaze, enabling us to see the hand painted decoration and to use the ware. Underglazes can be applied either in a liquid state or in a form of chalk. For liquid, you can use any brushes to paint over the ware, while with a chalk you just apply it over as it is. GLAZE Glaze is liquid glass subjected to the heat. When glazes are fired in a kiln, they melt and adhere to the clay body, eventually hardening and forming a glossy, satin matte or matte surface texture (Zamek, 2009). Glazes have many functions, but they mostly serve as a protection cover for the ware. It gives it a stable, functional use. 50

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How to mix glaze and water? First put the right amount of glaze and add water. Doing in the opposite order you will risk getting lumps in the glaze which will disturb the glazed body. Before glazing, strain the glaze to remove unwanted particles in the glaze.

How to apply the glaze? The glaze can be applied either by a brush (use a natural one, it will make the process easier), where you apply glaze with short strokes, by dipping, where you dip the piece into a glaze or you can pour it over the ware. It can also be applied with spraying. For schools, applying it with brushes or by pouring are the easiest approaches.

DECORING TECHNIQUES Sgraffito Can be used for glazes and engobe. With this technique you scratch through one layer to reveal the underlying contrasting colour. Apply the glaze or engobe on the surface and when dry, scratch it with sharp tools. Wax resist Is used for glaze, slip, engobe. The applied wax on the ware prevents the applied fluid to stick on the surface. After firing, the waxed surface maintains the primary colour, while the other parts are decorated. Inlaying Can be used either on already fired or leather hard clay. The surface needs to be textured and engraved in order the glaze or engobe has a place to stick. For fired ware, apply the glaze in the engraved lines, clean the excess glaze with a sponge. 51 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

With leather hard clay, engrave it, apply engobe and when it has stiffened, scrape the excess colour away, to reveal the precise inlaid decoration. Resist Using paper, cut different shapes, wet them and apply on the leather hard ware. Apply engobe over them and when dry, carefully remove them. it works in the same way as wax, but its heathier and easier to try at school. Pouring Either slip or glaze can be poured over the ware in various ways, creating layers of different colours and then combined with other decoring techniques (such as sgraffito, wax resist...) Sponge application Whichever kind of sponge can be used and dipped into slip and tapped onto the leather hard ware. You can cut the sponge in different shapes and have a sponge stamp.


Grayson Perry 52 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

Philip Englin

Yuk Kan Yeung

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8 FIRING CLAY: KILN AND EQUIPMENT When clay is fired, it is transformed into ceramics. The oldest method of firing clay is by wood, and to today pit-firing is preserved as a primitive type of firing, giving smoky effects on the clay body. The kilns were improved as clay was being more and more used, so they started building kilns, also because at first they were not able to reach the vitrification point. ELECTRIC KILN This type of kiln uses electricity to heat up the heat elements inside the kiln. The heat raises the temperature and is controlled by the kiln controller. The controller offers us to set different firing programs Today we most often use electric kilns, since they offer a stable, fast, cheap and effortless firing. GAS KILN Gas is the most common fuel for firing kilns. It offers different experimentations and working with different firing techniques, such as raku, it can be also handy if you need to achieve reduction firing or just make a quick glaze testing.

WOODKILNS are one of the oldest firing methods, but today, because of the convenience of electric kilns and popularity of gas kilns, it is not as used as it was at the birth of ceramics. However, it does give us effects, which cannot be achieved in electric or gas kilns. Wood kilns demand a lot of knowledge, as for example, which wood to use- different wood gives different effect, design of the kiln affects the way and the results of firing. In updraft kilns, the heating source in beneath the kiln and the heat rises up, through the chamber, filled with ceramics works. Reaching the top of the chamber the heat goes out from the chimney. With the downdraft kilns, the heat source is from the fireboxes, which are on the side of the kiln. The chimney is connected with the kiln through a flue, which is beneath the base of the kiln. Crossdraft kilns are heated from one end, the flame goes horizontally through the kiln to the chimney, which is on the on the other side of the kiln.


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kiln. Cross draft kilns are heated from one end, the flame goes horizontally through the kiln to the chimney, which is on the on the other side of the kiln.

HOW TO PACK A KILN? To pack the kiln, special kiln furniture is used. Kiln shelves, which come in various sizes and thickness, to fit your kiln. But not just any shelf can be, they need to be made either from silicon carbide or cordierite. To load the kiln, you need to use more shelves, which are supported by kiln props, which are made from cordierite, and also come in different sizes and shapes. When packing the kiln, pack the first floor first and then move up, to the next level. The props need to be set in a straight line, in order to prevent the shelf cracking and to provide more stability. With the bisque firing, the pieces can touch each other, while with the glaze firing, there must be space between them, so they don’t stick together.

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9 CONTEMPORARY PRACTICES IN CERAMICS In this chapter, we will go through different practices in ceramics. Ceramics is a wonderful medium, not only offering us to use it in technology, machinery or the dental field, but also in design, for functional ware or in the art world as a medium for sculpture and even painting. Clay is also frequently used in performances and happenings and is opening the door towards contemporary art. The selected artist in this chapter are interesting because of their unique visual language, way of thinking and handling clay. They cross the border of the ceramics we know and re-shape it in new dimensions. In this section are also presented ceramics artist and designers, finalists of the first edition of Future Lights in Ceramics. They represent a fresh way of interpreting ceramics and are a new voice in ceramics field. The mentioned artists can be a very creative example for children and students, the way they use different techniques or how they perceive the ceramics matter. After each author, I will offer a couple of ideas, of how and why to incorporate their work into your lecture or workshop, what can inspire you or your students, to create with clay. field.. The kiln can be set easily, some (if in Ceramics Handbook small size) can be easily moved and you Kristina Rutar 2016, All Rights Reserved can also Šeasily makewith propane or natural gas.


Emily Stapleton-Jefferisare Emily is interested in the pursuit of beauty, in the creation of objects and environments with a sense of narrative and play. Her work seeks to actively engage with viewers to stir memories, emotion and new perceptions of objects and places. Her ceramics are rooted in drawing, as a way of gaining inspiration, developing and refining objects, and as an entity in itself. Whilst drawing she loves to explore mark making as well as directly representing her surroundings. Through combining these two styles and incorporating clay she creates layered and visually rich work.



She states about her work: “This work is inspired by drawings I made from my Grandmother's kitchen shelves and spoon draws - heaps and stacks of utensils, vessels and spoons in such intriguing shapes and sizes, raising thoughts of purpose and history. An intermingling of crockery and cutlery with trailing plants and germinating seeds. With these pieces the drawing and making are inextricably linked, with the colours, patterns, shadows and lines in the drawings informing the surfaces and shapes of the forms. I hope that these resulting objects engage people and provoke questions of use and form. I am inspired to look at everyday objects and reinterpret them in new ways so stimulating people to see the beauty in the mundane.�

Emily Stapleton-Jefferis offers us an intimate, personal experience, through her personal interpretation of her home surroundings. How do children see their environment? What draws their attention or warms their heart up?

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One of the suggested tasks would be to make a research of their environment, not only what they like, but also dislike. They will become more aware of the details around them, they will acknowledge their environment and with analyzing it, they will develop critical thinking. They can pick an object, on which they can reflect and reinterpret it in clay, or they can draw a part of the surrounding they want to reflect on and recreate it in clay. Emily Stapleton-Jefferis also offers us a gentle approach towards combining materials. In schools, this practice is not present, but could be easily implemented. Last, but not least, Emily Stapleton-Jefferis with her ambiguous forms opens a debate of where is the border line between sculpture and functional ceramics? While all her work resembles teacups and vases, with adding materials or perforating them she questions the line between these two categories. For high schoolers, this can be a nice workshop, taking every-day functional objects and reinterpreting them into ceramics sculpture.

Kate Haywood Often referencing aspects of ritual, ceremony and adornment, Kate Haywood’s work explores our relationship with objects and how they can allow us to form and trigger memories. Material and process is combined to create a non-verbal dialogue. Visual clues are generated from specific combinations of colour, form and scale. Individual components evoke readings which are multi-layered and material qualities are intensified when viewed in relation to a range of contrasting physical traits. Works are contradictory in nature, playful yet sombre, tactile but austere, familiar and unfamiliar. Function is always suggested but never fully resolved. These ambiguities permit 58 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

an open reading and allow Haywood to explore ways in which poetic structures can function visually.

Kate Heywood offers us a personal, individual language of expression. With reinterpretation of museum objects, and application of different materials, she shifts between almost industrial designed objects, but manages to shape them almost into personal coded language, which you need to learn how to read. Children could go into an ethnographic museum, pick up an object, observe it, draw it and later reinterpret it by his/her drawings and memory into a new object. Observing and choosing different textures, surfaces and patterns, drawing them and trying to shape them in clay, will challenge children and students to translate 2D forms into 3D.

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FUNCTIONAL CERAMICS AND DESIGN Yuka Kikomoto Yuka Kikumoto is a Japanese ceramics designer, currently living in Europe. Her work is a hybrid of European and Asian culture, aesthetics and approaches. She describes the differences between the cultures and her way of balancing and connecting them.

“Three tapas plates are able to accurately fit on the tray. You can carry three kinds of tapas very easily. You’re able to place your chopsticks or folk on the tray,” says Yuka. Tapas plates are certainly not a Japanese tradition, but she managed to design them just with that approach.

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“Wagasa Lamp - Wagasa in Japan is the Japanese traditional umbrella. It consists of two parts. The outside shape describes the bone of the umbrella and the inside shape has a cherry blossom pattern embossed on it. You can take off the outer umbrella and enjoy a two different styles of lighting.” Today’s world is getting more and more globalized, people are migrating and it often happens that in class there is one student from another county. One of the task could be that the pupil presents the culture of his hometown, students than brainstorm and try to create an object, which would be a hybrid of both countries and cultures. In this way, children and students will broaden their perspectives about other countries and cultures. They will learn to respect other cultures and learn not to be ignorant. Like with Haywood, they could visit an ethnographic or pottery museum, learn from other countries and then try and either copy or reinterpret the object.

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Beth Lewis-Williams Lights, Lithophanes & Landscapes is a collection of porcelain lighting, which exploits the traditional and mysterious technique of lithophanes. The lights are realized using 3D printing technologies and hand carving, the latest LED and lighting controls. They explore urban scenes contrasting current social, environmental, and aesthetic scenes with those of the romantic landscapes featured on 19th Century industrially produced domestic ceramics.

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3D printing is becoming a more and more common technique, which is already shaping our future. It allows to print in different materials, from plastic, to pastry and clay. Visiting a studio, where they present the 3D printing technique will allow them to connect the technical and artistically parts of design. Work of Beth Lewis-Williams also gives us an idea of combining painting and ceramics. Challenge the children and students with a painting and to recreate it in 3D form.

Francesca Romei “My ceramics can be placed in the middle of the unsolved dilemma: industrial or handmade?... unique or serial? Thanks to all my different working experiences, I try to mix different things in order to reinvent them, improving the artistic potential in everyday objects to design potteries with elegant forms and a touch of humor, always leaving a light craft touch on their visual appearance… I enjoy designing, because I love making and I would like to communicate that through my products.”

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Children’s imagination goes beyond our expectations. Combining different objects and giving them a new meaning or function can be a nice challenge, to support their creative thinking.

Searching for solutions, which are simple, but are at the same time solutions “out of the box”, are the hardest one to make. Such creative process of thinking is not only used when making a piece of art, but is also used in other fields, such as technology, physics… challenging children and students and giving them different objects, which have nothing in common and give them a task of designing a hybrid of two or more objects will encourage to think out of the box and beyond the object’s functionality.

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PERFORMANCE, HAPPENING AND INSTALLATION Unfired clay, experimenting and shaping a group project. Ceramics is defined as fired clay, but contemporary artists are searching the borderlines of this medium, through performance, happening and installation. Using it in different states, as dust, slip, plastic form in fired state, they make us question what ceramics really is and how far can one go with interpreting and using this medium. For example, Allison Fall builds her relationship with clay and ceramics through her experience of professional dancer, but she also gained her academic qualifications in ceramics, performance and sculpture. As performance artist, she expresses her personal experiences through intimate and cabaret style performance.

Then we have Clare Twomey, who in a way reminds me of Ai Wei Wei. Transforming the context of a piece, from an everyday object, to a piece of art, within a second. With her strong signature aesthetics and visual style, she settles in our mind and it is hard to get her out of your head. The viewer is a part of her work, either with breaking the tiles with their step (Consciousness/Conscience, Tate Liverpool, Crafts Council London, Icheon Korea, 2001-2004) or with taking a bird from an installation as a trophy (Trophy, V&A, 2006). 65 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

The installation of her work is always a response to the architectural details of the place she is exhibiting. Placing the works as if they were growing out of the wall (Heirloom, Mission Gallery, Swansea, 2004) or gently fill up the room by placing the vessels carefully next to each other (Forever, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas, USA, 2011), she reminds us of the space we are moving in. Nina Hole redefined ceramics with firing performance; building big installations from clay, over a kiln, then firing it, she reinterpreted the transformation from clay to ceramic through performance. The process, which is unseen to us was through firing ceramics is revealed to the public.

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Alexanda Engelfriet uses her whole body to interact with clay. Usually working outside, she arranges a place with a huge amount of clay (five tones). Through sliding, kicking, punching, kneeing, elbowing, she interacts with the whole body with clay. For her it is like a dance, merging with the material.

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The mentioned artists show us different approaches, which show that ceramics is far from a classical tableware, but is a part of contemporary art. It broadens our knowledge about ceramics, the aesthetic experience it offers to us and makes us consciousness of the variation of unique sensibilities. It connects ceramics with environmental, political and social contexts, of which children need to be aware. It gives us an opportunity, to connect different topics and encourage children to express their emotions, feelings, opinions and values through clay. They can learn, that it is not necessary to only work with hands, but the whole body is involved when working with clay. They can learn, that breaking and cracking is a part of the clay’s character and that they can use it in their own benefit. They can learn that their other interests, such as sports, film, photography, dance, literature, and love for other materials can be included in working with clay. Try to approach clay from an interactive view. You can ask your students to photograph their work, in this way, they will learn a lot about their form, and they will explore and analyze it. They can try to create an art photo and not only a documentation of the object. With filming it, they can create short animation movie, recreating scenes made from clay.

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Atis Šnēvelis With his creative manifestations he combines many thematic levels both in visual appearance as well as the conceptual part, and also even seemingly minor work supplementing with its own unique function, particularly with the light. I believe that fundamental importance is that all things are interconnected and it is the major aspect for my creative vision. His work often combines theological concepts, mathematics, psychology, philosophy, and sometimes even mysticism.

Shaping a work which is connected with electronic mediums, making a wall relief, incorporating ceramics elements into architecture.

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10 TASKS - TOPICS In the previous chapter I gave some suggestions of how to get inspired by an artist’s work. Here are suggested some other lectures and workshops you can do with your children and students. I also added couple of artists, which are worth checking out. Inspiration from the past - find a traditional pottery product from your country and give the students a task to reproduce and reinterpret it. They get in contact with their roots, learn about local craft and learn the value of hand-made objects. Check out: Paul Scott, Robert Dawson. Mixed media – select several objects either from your classroom or nature, encourage them to combine different materials. In this way they will learn the characteristics of different materials, how differently they react, the difference between textures, temperature of the material. They will have to be creative and innovative to successfully combine two or three different materials, they will have to think about the relationship between the amounts of the material, and the stable construction. Check out: Laurent Craste, Kristen Morgin, Annie Woodford.

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Group projects - build together a sculpture, passing the clay form around and each one ads or changes the past form, or, each child/student makes a piece, then they group smaller pieces into a bigger sculpture. The aim of this task is to be spontaneous, to react quickly, following your instinct what is the best move. Questioning functionality – most students understand ceramics as a work of craft, which serves us as an everyday functional object. With students, take old pottery, break it in pieces of different sizes, create a composition from them and with gluing build them into a sculpture. Cut them and remake them with adding different material to the form. Check out: Michelle Taylor, Livia Marin, Kjell Rylander. Re-shaping geometrical forms – give your students a block of clay, which they need to form it in a desired geometrical shape. After that, with cutting, turning, puzzling, hollowing or adding different elements 70 they transform the simple geometric forms such as a sphere or a cube into an unsymmetrical object. Check 71 out: Lea Georg, Danica

sphere or a cube into an un-symmetrical object. Check out: Lea Georg, Danica Žbontar, Rebecca Catterall. Challenging the techniques – using the classical techniques in an unusual way. Challenge your students to break the rules in order to achieve a creative breakthrough. Check out: Adam Abel, Agnes Husz, Ruth Borgenicht, Karin Stegmaier, Zsolt Jozsef Simon. Curating – even though it offers a lot of different opportunities, curating is often left out from the educational process or is usually a teacher’s burden. Setting an exhibition is for every artist the ultimate challenge, it demands to consider all the elements, the size and the shape of the space, the colour of the floor and the size of the works. Especially when it comes to group exhibitions, organizing and setting an exhibition is a challenge. For children and students, it can be a collaboration of different classes and different age, for example, the older class curates an exhibition of a younger class. Or vice versa, younger classes curating the exhibition of older classes, showing, how they understand and view their work. Check out the curating of Zora Žbontar at Third Unicum Triennale. Wheel-throwing – visit a local pottery studio and let the children try to wheel-throw. Even though they will not have enough time to learn the technique, the experience itself will stay in their mind for a very long time. Understanding how hard it is to learn to wheel-throw will make them appreciate the technique, the product and the pottery profession. Check out: Emmanuel Cooper, Edmund de Waal, and Takeshi Yasuda. Casting and slipcasting – reproducing a form, which can be later on deformed with different objects, or hand. Check out: Ilona Van Den Bergh, Sara Flyn. Embossing materials – the students pick up different materials from the nature and later stamp them into clay, creating embossed structure and texture. Stamping and pressing them on a 2D surface, they need to think about composition, the 71 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar © 2016, All Rights Reserved

relations between the elements, the contrast between sizes and texture. Stamping on 3D surface they need to be careful to successfully incorporate the embossing to the form. Check out: Ani Kasten, Figure – they get aware of their own body, of the proportions. Figure offers a variety of different artistic expressions, playing with proportions, stylization… Check out: Sung Mi Ha, Leiko Ikemura , Claire Curneen. Translating the material – is quite an easy and quick task. First, they take a piece of paper, with cutting, tearing and later with folding and gluing they build a certain form, which they later try to transfer and build it in clay. Check out: Ann van Hoey, Xue Lei, Nicole Lister, and Nina Jun. Reshaping the vessel – a simple pot, a plate or a cup can be with few interventions reshaped into a new form or translated into a sculpture. Check out: Daphne Corregan, Amy Hughes, Anne Marie Laures, Peter Voulkos. Painting on ceramics – inspire and encourage students to understand clay and ceramics surface as a canvas for painting. Many grand painters were working in ceramics; Picasso, Chagall, Fontana… encourage them to draw on 2D and 3D shapes, which will challenge their perception and sense for composition. Check out: Nona Otarashvili, Grayson Perry.

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Online shops Pottery Craft: Slovenia Samson, Kamnik: Tera, Misitka: Keraterm, Kranj: Pika, Tacen:

A lot of described techniques are hard to be learned only through pictures and illustrations. I advise you check the following YouTube sites, and check different videos of how to work with clay. The following profiles will help you to go through different techniques. Search for: Ingleton Pottery Learn Clay Timsee clay Hsinchuen Lin Ceramics Arts Daily Simon Leach Bambootools pottery Ron Meier Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild 73

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13 LITERATURE Anderson, Robert, Mitchell, Edna. From Folk Art to Modern Design in Ceramics. Bloomington: iUniverse, 2011 Amell, Carolina. Art of Ceramics. Barcelona: Instituto Monsa de Ediiones, 2014 Bernard Rob, Daintry Natasha, Twomley Clare. Breaking the Mould. London: Black Dog Publishing, 2007 Bosworth, Joy. Ceramics with Mixed Media. London: A & C Black Publishers, 2011 Brierley, Benedict. The New Ceramics, Firing Kilns. London: Bloomsbury, 2014 Brooks, Nick. Mouldmaking and Casting. Whiltshire: The Crowood Press, 2014 Chambers, Ruth, Gogarty, Amy, Perron, Mireille. Utopic Impulses: Contemporary Ceramics Practice. Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, Chappelhow, Mary. Throwing Pottery Techniques. London: Quarto Publishing, 2001 Cooper, Emmanuel. Contemporary Ceramics. London: Thames & Hudson, 2009 Dahn, Jo. New Directions in Ceramics. London: Bloomsbury, 2015 Loder, Claire. Sculpting and Handbuilding. London: Bloomsbury, 2014 McErlain, Alex. The Art of Throwing. Whiltshire: The Crowood Press, 2010 Peterson Susan,Peterson Jan. Working With Clay. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2009 Reijnders, Anton. The Ceramic Process. London: A & C Black, 2005 Scott, Marylin. The Potter0s Bible. London: Quarto Publishing, 2007 Standen, Kathleen. Additions to Clay Bodies. London: Bloomsbury, 2014 Staubach, Suzanne. Clay. University Press of New England, 2005 Vecchio, Mark Del. Postmodern Ceramics. New York, Thames & Hudson, 2001 Zamek, Jeff. Clay and Glaze Handbook. Beverly, Massachusetts: Quarry Books, 2009 Wall, Edmund de, 20th Century Ceramics. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003 Warshaw, Josie. The Complete Home Potter. London: Lorenz Books, 2006 Quinn, Anthony. The Ceramics Design Course. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010 74 74 Ceramics Handbook Kristina Rutar Š 2016, All Rights Reserved

14 PHOTOGRAPHY LIST      

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   

Tools, page ,, 01.07.2016 Chrissy Silver, page , , 01.07.2016 Tri Luknje, courtesy of the artist Maciej Kasperski, page ,, 01.07.2016 Cathy Keys, page ,, 01.07.2016 Jeannine Marchand, page , Marchand.html, 01.07.2016 Ann Van Hoey, page ,, 01.07.2016 Ilona Van den Bergh, page ,, 01.07.2016 Mieke de Groot, page ,, 01.07.2016 Bożena Sacharczuk, page ,, 01.07.2016 Grayson Perry, page ,, 01.07.2016 Philip Eglin, page ,, 01.07.2016 Yuk Kan Yeung, page ,, 01.07.2016

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         

Emily Stapleton-Jefferis, page 58, courtesy of the artist Kate Haywood, page 60, courtesy of the artist Yuka Kikomoto, page 61 - 62, courtesy of the artist Beth Lewis-Williams, page 63, courtesy of the artist Francesca Romei, page 64-65, courtesy of the artist Allison Fall, page 66,, 01.07.2016 Clare Twomey, page 67,, 01.07.2016 Nina Hole, page 68,, 01.07.2016 Alexanda Engelfriet, page 68 – 69,, 01.07.2016 Atis Šnēvelis, page 70, courtesy of the artist

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15 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Biography Kristina Rutar was born in 1989 in Slovenia. In 2008/2009 she started her studies of Art Education at Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana. In 2012/2013 she enroled in Erasmus exchange program, in which she studied for one year at Academy Sztuk Pięknych E. Geppert in Wrocław, Poland, at Ceramics department. In 2013, she graduated from Art Education at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana, with an emphasis on ceramics. In 2015 she concluded a postgraduate study of Interdisciplinary Printmaking at Academy Sztuk Pięknych E. Geppert in Wrocław, Poland. Currently she is working as an Assistant at the department of Applied Arts - glass and ceramic, at Academy of Fine Art and Design, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is the finalist of Future Lights competition and an ambassador of ceramics. ARTIST'S STATEMENT My work is a mirror, which narrates personal story while breaking constructs of traditional mediums.

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Finding and building relations between the individual and artwork is a driving force when creating. I constantly search for unconscious forms when interpreting my surroundings. Abstract forms are born from reinterpreting realistic ones and with ambiguity they tell universal stories, which are dependent on one’s personal narrative. With spontaneity and dynamism, the forms range from dream-like to erotic shapes and give the individual the power and the freedom, to create a personal experience through associations and fantasies. They are often delivered from interpreting human figure. I tend to question and challenge printmaking and ceramics as mediums. I am intrigued by finding uniqueness in processes that are traditionally used to create multiples. When breaking the rules of the used medium, I try to turn objects into artefacts and reactivate the mediums characteristics. When using the potter’s wheel in77 ceramics, I alter these forms and break their functionality 77

to reinterpret them into a sculpture. In printmaking, I focus on creating monoprints by combining different matrixes as well as changing the color and paper, creating individually unique prints. With installing the pieces, the viewer is challenged to physically interact with the whole space.

Contact +38631757683

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Profile for Kristina Rutar

Kristina Rutar - The Possibilities of Ceramics  

A handbook for art teachers, ceramics lovers and parents, who want to be creative with their children.

Kristina Rutar - The Possibilities of Ceramics  

A handbook for art teachers, ceramics lovers and parents, who want to be creative with their children.


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