Monday, May 13, 2013

For the Love of Pottery

(cover photo provided by Stewart Tabori & Chang)
Hi, Knitters,
I am taking a turn off the knitting path today to share another handcraft with you. I don't know about you but I am a huge fan of hand-thrown pottery. In fact, I will admit to being slightly obsessed with it and collecting pottery as much as I am able. I have dreamed of taking pottery classes to learn how to use a wheel for forever and I think soon I will be doing that. Part of my renewed urge to sign up for a pottery course is this new book I received from STC, Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook. This beautifully-crafted spiral bound hardcover book is completely inspiring. The book has some of the most gorgeous photography I've seen and this is partly due to knitter/designer/yarn creator Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame. The other photographer and author is Bruce Dehnert.

The book comes with two DVDs that share videos from Simon Leach's 895 YouTube pottery videos. I can't wait to dig into these DVDs. This is the perfect topic to include DVDs because these are not techniques you see in the everyday world.

(photos provided by Stewart Tabori & Chang)

The handbook was created as a companion piece to Simon's fantastic and expansive YouTube Channel. The book and the DVDs make for a comprehensive guide for new and seasoned ceramic artists alike. The book alone is a wonderful exploration of pottery how-to. I just love everything about it. The book includes: set-up, tools, clay tips, techniques like throwing, trimming, adding pieces, decorating and glazing and even how to set up and build your own kiln (can you imagine how cool that would be?).

I want to do it all! Projects included in the book are cylinders (tankard, tea bowl, pitcher and bottle), dishes and bowls, a teapot, and a variety of lids.

Simon Leach lives in Williamsburg, PA and teaches workshops throughout the country. Bruce Dehnert, co-author, lives in New Jersey and is the head of ceramics at Peters Valley Craft Center.

I am excited to be able to offer you a chance to win a copy of Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook! If you'd like to win a copy of this gorgeous and inspiring book, please leave one comment on this blog post. Please include your email or rav id so I can get in touch if you win! 

Now for a little show and tell of some of my favorite pottery pieces: 


This Little Bird Yarn Bowl by Aaron A. Harrison is one of my most favorite pieces. It was a gift from Deb (lovetocraft rav id) for one of our Itty-Bitty Knits swaps. 



This beautiful matching Little Bird Mug comes from the same artist, Aaron A. Harrison. It's so beautiful I haven't used it yet but have left it sitting in my studio to admire. I'm going to start using it for tomorrow morning's coffee.


Here are a few more pottery items in my collection.


I have a small collection of a local artist's pottery. Her name is Beth Rasmussen and she is such a talent. I have been collectting her bowls, platters, cups and even ceramic snowmen for over 20 years now. She is clever, subtle and so aware of the smallest details. She doesn't have a website but her information is on the Madison Potters Guild website. Click here to read more about her!

Look what's inside this cup!


I love this whimsical ceramic caterpillar found inside the cup above! Beth is so cute. The other thing I love about Beth Rasmussen is that her equally talented son teaches ceramics at our high school. My son took his classes and fell in love with the pottery wheel and the art. He learned so much from his high school ceramics teacher who became his favorite teacher of all time. 

I have my son's pottery pieces all over my house now and I keep many of his bowls in my studio to set my working yarn in as I knit. I would just love to make my own bowls, platters, buttons and mugs.... a girl can dream.


I will keep you posted if I find a good studio to take some workshops. I have some in mind. I will definitely be using Simon Leach's book and videos to guide me as I go!

Remember to leave a comment if you are interested in winning a copy of Simon Leach's Pottery Handbook. Good luck if you enter to win! I'll be back in a couple short days to choose a winner via random number generator.

Have a great start to your week.
best, susie

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. It all looks beautiful. I want to learn to throw pots one day too.
Connie
connknits @ ravelry

Kristebee said...

What a neat book. I too find pottery quite lovely and have a little collection as well. I need to add a yarn bowl soon! :)

Kristebee (rav ID)

Susan E said...

At on point in time I wanted to be a potter. I still swoon every time I see well made pottery. I would love to get back to it abain

Malin said...

My mum did some pottery when I was a kid, and my sister is doing a bit too. I would love to win this book, it looks beautiful!

Sandra said...

That book looks very interesting. Love the yarn bowl!
Rav Id: istitchfast

Tracey said...

My husbands aunt who lives in kilarney Ireland has a pottery studio in a shed in her backyard with a working kiln and everything. We will be going this summer and if I win this book I will be sure to have her teach me a thing or two! Thanks for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

I would love to win this for my husband. He just started taking pottery and is loving it.


Thanks,
Leanne
RavID: stileslea

710 East Myrtle Avenue said...

I too love and collect pottery. Thank you for offering this beautiful book as a give-away!
eevavalentine@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Looks like a very fun book...Thank you!


SilBell: rav id

Debbie said...

I would love to win this book! I have taken pottery classes at the local community college, but that was pre-children so a while ago. This book might renew my interest!

Debbie said...

Would love to win this book. I took classes pk (pre-kids) and would love to take it back up again now that three of four will be away at university this fall.

Debbie
Debbie4 rav id

Sam I Am...... said...

I've always admired hand made pottery and I had an Aunt who did ceramics and had her own kilns and when I visited we would paint ceramics but there was no pottery wheel. I would love to be entered in the drawing and my rav id is Saminar.
I also had a question for you. I talked to you about a year or so ago and I was inspired by you and several other artists to teach myself to knit...well, I have. I've done quite a few scarves, 3 pairs of socks both Magic Loop and DPN's and I love your new book and have wanted to make some of your toys. Which book would you recommend I try first? I love them all so it doesn't make any difference to me but we have the group COmeBLogALong for bloggers and knitters/crocheters on Ravelry and I'm starting to plan next years projects (it starts and ends in July). Any suggestion would be great and of course I adore your new book but wasn't sure if I should start there or not. Do you think I have enough skills yet to do the toys or is there more I need to learn before delving into your toy books? Thanks and good luck with the pottery! My favs are the bird ones, of course, the polka dot barn one and who wouldn't love that caterpillar mug? Hope you had a great Mother's Day!

paulette.fritz@gmail.com. said...

I didn't realize until I read you blog that would be something to put on my bucket list. I am almost 69so I better hurry up.

amchart said...

Wow. Neat book. Rav amchart

CindyH. said...

I love pottery and was supposed to take lessons then the teacher had to quit do to health...:( The closest I came was making ceramics...not the feel of the clay though..the book looks great!

Rav ID Arrowfeather

camby said...

I would love to win. I haven't done any since high school, but it would be fun to try again.

Kea said...

Love the book. Thanks for Shari g!

Karen said...

I have a lovely biscotti jar made by a local potter. I don't keep cookies in it because I fear I'm the only one who treasures it more than the biscotti! I'd love to try pottery!

Suzy Creamcheese said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzy Creamcheese said...

Looks like a lovely book! I have some pieces my Mom made in the sixties and love them so. I daydream over postings on Craigslist for used ceramics equipment and think... Someday!

Rav ID: SuzannahJane

Kelly-ann said...

I would love to have this inspiring book. I have also wanted to learn pottery. I signed my son up for a parent/kid class a couple years ago, but they canceled it since ewe were the only ones who signed up :( Maybe this will push me to finding an adult class.

Kelly-ann said...

I would love to win this inspiring book. I took pottery as a kid and then signed up for a parent/kid class a couple of years ago with my son. They canceled since nobody else signed up! Can you believe that?! This may push me to venture into that world :)

dawn said...

I am glad you are not asking how many pieces of pottery we own. Love collecting bowls!

Auntie Shan said...

I also tried my hand at it in high school art class, however, despite the school's great kiln, there was a severe lack of "wheels"! And coiling the clay was too much like cooking for me to really get into it... BUT, my personal lack of skill aside, I have always loved COLLECTING Pottery, especially the Blue & White china and even the simplest folksy piece. I have this thing for the feel of salt-glazing... I'm notorious at picking up unusual pieces at yard sales! In fact, I've posted a few on Pinterest that are in need of some IDENTIFICATION! -- BTW, if Anyone Here can help with that, I'm at "HMBYAUNTIESHAN" over there. Just click into my Yard sale board...

Then again, I suppose there could be some "clay" in my "blood" -- Dad's Side are from Staffordshire & Derbyshire, the HEART of ENGLISH POTTERY!!

Cynthiacc said...

I am taking a pottery class with my daughter and I would love to win! We haven t done the wheel yet, working on slab and coil pots now,but we both dream of mastering the wheel:)

Cynthiacc said...

I am taking a pottery class with my daughter and we love it. I would love to win this book, she and I would enjoy it:)

stephigordon said...

Love all things pottery! My favorite wine glasses are my lovely, local pottery "goblets". I've often wanted to sign up for a ceramics class at our local community college. This book would be inspirational! Thank you! Stephanie (indigodogmt on Rav)

Kristin said...

This book looks beautiful and your pottery collection is gorgeous, Susan. In the few opportunities I have had to work with clay, I have found it to have the same calming impact that yarn does when knitting. I think it must be a combination of the organic nature of the materials along with the creative juices that flow when the craftsperson is working. I would love to own the book. My Ravelry ID is Laterknitter or email at kristinp7825@msn.com

redsoxgal5 said...

I LOVE pottery, I have a bowl "thing", and it now includes yarn bowls...love seeing it, I love it in my house, I love using at meals, there's a cupboard in my kitchen full of mixing bowls I have collected, and I love everyone of them!!this book will certainly be a 'must have" Thank you for sharing it. As I say all the time I learn something from your blog and Facebook page every time!

melosa said...

Oh my goodness! I would LOVE to win this book! I have a definite soft spot for pottery as well. I really enjoyed the little bit that I did way back in school and I've still got the bug to try it again, don't know why I haven't yet.

Lisa said...

Divine! I'm a dilettante potter wanting to do more. this book would give me some lovely inspiration to get in to doing more.

Lisa said...

Divine! I would love to win this book and start doing more pottery again!

Pam D'Esopo said...

I'm with you, handmade pottery is wonderful. There are several local potters here on the South Shore of Massachusetts; my favorite pieces are terra cotta plant pots. This book looks fascinating! Pam D
pamelajd on rav

Marilyn said...

I live just a few miles south of Seagrove, NC, the pottery capital! You should plan a visit. I could keep you busy all day pottery hopping!! Love this book.

Johnston4kids said...

Would love to win this for my sister who needs a creative outlet as now is a running of kids time of her life. Also our dear aunt was a potter. Thanks! Johnston4kids on rav

rebekah said...

Ooh interesting! Rebekah rav scruffian

Creative Design said...

I love pottery! I love looking at it, touching it and using it. My husband made some beautiful pieces in school as did our daughter, from the same teacher no less! And don't you always remember/think of the person who made the piece every time you look at it?

Lovely post today, thank you,
Sheila

Denise K said...

I have always wanted to do pottery as well. I am fascinated by the beauty in transforming a pile of clay to something beautiful and often functional. One day... It sounds like this book inspired you maybe it would do the same for me. Rav ID-kittykatz

Poohtum on Ravelry said...

My daughter and I have signed up for a pottery class and can't wait. Would be fun to win that lovely book.

Mya said...

I don't know that I'll ever take up pottery but I'd love to have a copy of that book. So pretty!

MyaLMG on Ravlery.

Kathy Guenther said...

I would love to have a copy of this book. I would gift it to my daughter. She is a pottery fanatic!

Patti said...

I love hand thrown pottery! Please pick my number. I am working out so I will be strong enough to throw!

oldgoatwoman (rav ID)

MJ said...

I have always wanted to make pottery bowls. I did ceramics with my mom, but always wanted to use a wheel. Thanks for the beautiful giveaway!

Debbie1085 said...

Shopping for pottery is FUN... We always make sure to go to this pottery store in Gatlinburg when we are in town...

Debbie
Debbie1085 (Rav id)

Fiadhnat said...

I would love to win this book. My sister is a potter so I would give it to her in exchange for a yarn bowl (I've been asking her for ages to make me one).

melsheljack said...

I'm with you Susan, I love pottery and am drawn to it at any art festival I attend. I have a small collection started as well. I often think about joining our local potters guild, but finding the time is the issue, so I support the potters when ever possible.

Anonymous said...

The little bird yarn bowls are adorable! You'd love the hand-painted yarn bowls made by Phyllis Handal (she is located in Maryland). These are some of my favorite pieces of collectible pottery and can be seen on The Artisans Hand Pottery website http://www.theartisanshandpottery.com Thanks for sharing (part) of your pottery collection!

Cheers, Pat
rav id: patroosha

Rae said...

I,too, am enamored with hand thrown pottery and have a very favorite mug made for me by a friend. I've taken classes off and on over the years and am not great at it but I still enjoy it very much.

grahamcrackerzz said...

I would love to win this book. I used to make pottery, and it was so fulfilling. It would be fun to start again. You have inspired me, once again! Thsnks

madknitter said...

Your pottery story sounds so close to my own. Although I haven't been able to collect pieces in the same way as you have, I have pieces that my daughter created in her high school ceramic class that I cherish.
I would love to own this book and be able to get my hands on clay.

RAV ID madknitter07

Maureen said...

This book really inspires me to resume my first love - pottery. Maybe it would push me over the edge to start up again now that life is getting slower (does that every happen?!!) Teachermom on rav

Maureen said...

This book really inspires me to resume my first love - pottery. Maybe it would push me over the edge to start up again now that life is getting slower (does that every happen?!!) Teachermom on rav

Dana S. Whitney said...

What wonderful photographs and inspiration. I have "done" pottery two or three times over my life... I always like playing in the mud and seeing it transformed... whether into something "useful" or merely interesting never mattered. Thanks for sharing!

Genevieve said...

This book looks wonderful. I took a beginner pottery workshop last winter and my daughter is currently taking one.

SweetBasil on Ravelry

Shing said...

I'd love to give this to my son who is taking ceramics in high school. He's got such a cool teacher as well and I have his work all over my house! Shing

Anonymous said...

I am a knitter and a potter - BA in Visual Art/Ceramics - and would love this book. I have some cherished books from school that I use as resources all the time, but I don't always know what's new out there. I'm feeling lucky :)

nigellafoxy at gmail dot com

beach_bum said...

I've always admired handmade pottery; I'd love to be the one whose hands have made it! : )

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of pottery, especially Red Wing pottery. I'd love to win this book.

Pam E. - Wisconsin

Jeanie said...

Pottery is a creative and super fun craft. I took a class in high school and fell in love. I too have way too many pieces from all over the world. The pieces are just too beautiful to pass up. Thanks for the chance at winning this great looking book!

Anonymous said...

This book looks fantastic. I love the bicycle buttons.
boilerup(ravid)

Anonymous said...

Susan: This is off topic... Graduation is approaching for some of us... I wonder if you have designed a cap and gown for graduates with your animals? I would buy that pattern in a heart beat if you had it designed... Love your patterns!!
Deb

Jennie Kaderabek said...

What a beautiful book! My friend teaches at a studio on Monroe street. I can get the studio info to you if you'd like!
My niece has her own pot house on the family farm. I itch to get messy at her wheel during one of my visits.
You need to check out the Cambridge Pottery fest. I believe it's June 8-9 this year at Lake Rippley park. Lots of great clay artists!
Thanks for sharing your favorite clay art!
Jennie/javajennie

Ana said...

I would LOVE to win this book!
anahuron@gmail.com

Linda T said...

Pottery has been a big part of my life for years. I recently got a lovely yarn bowl which I loved. When it broke suddenly I vowed to search out another one. Perhaps the book will help inspire me to do this!

Kim Watkins said...

I love pottery too, took a class years ago and loved it. thanks for the chance to win this book!

Kim Watkins said...

I love pottery too, took a class years ago and loved it. thanks for the chance to win this book!

Spinner said...

Would totally LOVE to win a copy of the book to give to my friend Jo. She is new(ish) to pottery and while very very talented could always use a little inspiration :)

Thanks for the opportunity!

Best, jen
ravid: greenwgirl

lakchi said...

Love potterytoo, I collect pieces of Bennington VT pottery
Thanks for showing this beautiful book

Rav I'd. Lakchi

Anonymous said...

Very cool book! Would love to win a copy.
coffeeknitgal @ ravelry

NanaKnits4Us said...

I love pottery too, and would be so happy to win this book.

Barbara
NanaKnits4Us on Ravelry

Brenda said...

My mom and I took a pottery class together---the main thing that I learned is that I stink at pottery and should stick to crafts involving thread or string. I also learned that when I see a bowl at a craft show for $30 or $40, it is worth it.

Donna said...

I would love to have this book. My son, also is a potter and has made some beautiful things. Would love to try it myself.
seahorse681@bellsouth.net

Jo-Ann said...

What a nice give away! I have been throwing for some 20 years and have never owned or thought about owning a handbook. I do love to watch Simon's you tube demos I bet the book would have so much info, I'd sure like to win and take a peek. Thanks for making this available.

Kerri said...

Pottery and yarn go together so beautifully. It's the elemental qualities in clay that I love. This book looks lovely. Kezurina (rav id)

Sharon said...

I, like you, have always dreamed of using a pottery wheel. The book sounds wonderful. Submit my name for the drawing.
Rav ID craftysbs

Anonymous said...

I love pottery, and this looks like a beautiful book! If I don't win, I'll have to pick up a copy!

sarabethd/rav

Jan said...

I have a tiny obsession with hand thrown pottery and just returned from visiting Seagrove, NC which is home to over 50 potters. What a treat.

I've always wanted to learn to throw a pot and would lover to win the book.

IUGrad @ Ravelry

Ruth said...

I too am a pottery collector and would love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity

Rav id: RLake

Ruth said...

I too am a pottery collector and would love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity

Rav id: RLake

Unknown said...

So awesome!!!
Michael-Lyn (rav ID)

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous book! I have tried a pottery wheel only once - it was so difficult! My hat goes off to your son and anyone else who has mastered it!
Do you have any other suggestions on where to find yarn bowls? I have been itching to find the perfect one!

Rav ID: knitswithgodiva

cllcraft said...

I have collected pottery for a few years, especially from our local community college workshops. I'd love to take a workshop myself,and try this amazing craft. The book looks like a must have!

SandyH said...

I, too, love handmade pottery! It's just so beautiful and feels so amazing in my hands. This book looks like total eye candy and would love to own it.

slh0103 at Ravelry

Anonymous said...

What wonderful pottery! I'd love to add "throwing clay" to my list of crafty skills. Some day...

Thanks for providing us with the chance to win this book - it looks wonderful!

nuts4crafting (rav id)

Elizabeth D said...

It's been years since I took pottery, but I, too, have a certain local potter whose work I keep buying. . .oh, I'd love to win this book!

Jen said...

I am especially found of those knitting bowls-wish I could make one! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

Marilyn a.k.a. Merry said...

I've always wanted to learn to throw pots.
Wahoomerryf on rav

darlene said...

I would love to win the book!! I have done ceramic work before, but never pottery.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your lovely blog!
I would also love to win the pottery book by Simon Leach as I am an admirer of his, and have my own wheel at home. I take my pots to be fired and glazed at my previous teacher's studio, and dream of having my own studio one day. I do advise you to start taking pottery soon, as it seems to be in your blood! Good luck!
Shelley from Jerusalem, Israel.

white barn farm said...

Hi
Paula here from White Barn Farm. Just wanted to thank you for mentioning my farm (mug) in your blog. I was wondering why I was having a spike in online mug and tee shirt sales! The internet is a crazy thing. Thanks so much. Every little bit helps keep this place going.I am now, of course, following your blog, and enjoy it very much. Cheers.

white barn farm said...

Just wanted to thank you for using my White Barn Farm mug in your blog. I was wondering why I was seeing a spike in online sales! The internet is an amazing place. I'll now be happily following along. Cheers, Paula