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From pinch pots to coiled boxes to soft slab tableware, mastering hand building is a lifelong pursuit. In this book, Sunshine Cobb covers all the foundational skills, with lessons for constructing both simple and complex forms from clay.
Ceramic artists will also find a variety of next-level techniques and tips: designing templates and replicating pieces, lidded vessels, using molds, a variety of decorative techniques, and other avenues of exploration are all inside.
Artist features and inspirational galleries include work from today's top working artists, such as Bryan Hopkins, Lindsay Oesterritter, Liz Zlot Summerfield, Bandana Pottery, Shoko Teruyama, Courtney Martin, Sam Chung, Deborah Schwartzkopf, and many more.
Take your hand building skills—and your artwork—to the next level with Mastering Hand Building.
The Mastering Ceramics series is for artists who never stop learning. With compelling projects, expert insight, step-by-step photos, and galleries of work from today’s top artists, these books are the perfect studio companions. Also available from the series: Mastering the Potter's Wheel and Mastering Kilns and Firing.
About the Author
Sunshine Cobb, author of Mastering Hand Building, is a ceramic artist and instructor based in California, where she is currently a visiting professor at Sacramento State University. She has previously held adjunct or visiting professor roles at Sonoma State University, University of Pacific, and Utah State. She has experience with everything from eight-day anagama wood firings to slip casting ornaments, but she focuses her talent on functional ware, embracing the richness of earthenware and exploring the challenge of electric firing. Sunshine has been the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship Emerging Artist award, a featured emerging artist in Ceramics Monthly (cover artist), and a long-term resident at Archie Bray. She has taught workshops across the country including Penland School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont, Santa Fe Clay, and The Clay Studio. She holds a BA in studio art from CSU Sacramento and an MFA in ceramic art from Utah State University.
"This book is like the best of Sunshine’s pots: a marvel of construction that balances flashy tricks with soulful surprises. The jewels of hard-won knowledge within are piquant, and will linger in your head (and hands) for a long time."—Garth Johnson, Curator of Ceramics, ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center
"Anyone who has been lucky enough to take a class with Sunshine will instantly recognize her generosity, humor, and expertise in this book. For all others, it will introduce you to Sunshine’s big heart and organized mind, her sense of form and color, and the joy she finds in making everyday pots. Keep this book close at hand—if you’re using it correctly it should be covered in fingerprints and glaze splatter in no time."—Leslie Noell, Director of Programs, Penland School of Crafts
"Sunshine shares her years of experience working with various hand building techniques to create architectural forms with a strong sense of identity in such an enthusiastic and approachable way that I found myself thinking that she was in the same room with me, sharing her processes, answering anticipated questions, and offering advice."—Jessica Knapp, Editor, Ceramics Monthly
"A must-have book for any potter or teacher, Mastering Hand Building makes me want to be in my studio . . . making pots!"—Bill Griffith, Administrator/Educator and Potter, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
"For a no-nonsense approach to hand building and vessel construction in clay, look no further. As only she can, Sunshine offers generous and straightforward information for the beginning to advanced artist and thoughtful interviews with many talented artists in our field."—Steven Young Lee, Director, Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts
"Sunshine Cobb has established a remarkable reputation for quirky, colorful, and thoroughly contemporary pottery. Her new book is just as remarkable. With an engaging combination of technical mastery and philosophical insight, the author’s ebullient personality fairly oozes from the seams of this terrific new studio handbook."—John Neely, Potter and Professor, Utah State University