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Ceramics Workshop: Ginger Steele

November 15, 2009

On October 31, I was invited to attend a workshop given by ceramic artist Ginger Steele. She produces beautifully decorated hand-built pottery. Her business is Insomnia Pottery.

Here are some images from the workshop:

Ginger measuring out her rolled slab. She uses quilting squares for measuring.

Ginger 1

Next she bevels the top edge and sides. This will become a mug with a pulled handle.

Ginger 2

Next step is texture. She has a wide variety of texture wheels and her own texture rounds. She started at the bottom creating bands of patterns.

Ginger 3

Here she is using one of her texture rounds. Notice how she keeps a finger inside to administer even pressure.

Ginger 4

After applying texture she scores one edge of the interior and starts encouraging the clay to take on a cylindrical form.

Ginger 5

Here she is using a PVC pipe to keep the cylinder form. It also gives her a surface to press the overlapping joint onto.

ginger 6

One step skipped was cutting out a base using circular cookie cutters. You can see them in the lower left corner of the above photo. She finds one that matches the cup base, cuts it out, scores the edge, scores the bottom edge of the cup and gently presses them together. But not too much! Most of the smoothing occurs later after the two clay sections meld together. You can see her applying some smoothing to the edge in the photo below.

Ginger 7

Next step is just a touch of clean up after the forms set together. Once the mug is pretty firm she attached a  fat cylinder to the side of the mug, allowed the two surfaces to equilibrate a bit, then started pulling a handle in place. I had always wondered how her handles attached so smoothly to the mug. Mystery solved!

Ginger 8

A look at the studio space and workshop participants. Besides creating texture wheels and mugs, the participants created a teapot utilizing the same skills learned earlier in the day.

Ginger 9

Ginger 10

My  teapot was more of a watering can than anything. I didn’t cut & attach my spout at the right angle. Oh well! It’s a workshop, not a place to create master works.

Ginger 11

This was my neighbors teapot. She did a lovely job with stamping and decorating.

Ginger 12

Neighbor across the table working on his spout connection. Nicely done!

Ginger 13

It was a great experience. I’ve been out of the ceramics area for so long and had forgotten the fun. Nice to have someone show me the way again plus new ideas to muddle over. Thanks Ginger!!!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2009 9:48 am

    Gorgeous work! I love the photo she posted of a recent firing on Facebook! So glad your Mom continues to improve too!

    • paperstew permalink*
      November 17, 2009 7:59 pm

      Ginger does such beautiful work. We have accumulated several pieces each festival. Maybe it’s a bad thing she is right next to the Gazebo! Naahh! 🙂

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