The Teapot: Leather-Hard Slabs and Altered Forms with Bob Johnson

Eight Tuesdays: September 15 through November 3, 10am—12pm

$250.00     Current members of  The Potters’ Studio can take all eight classes for $125!

Cone 10 clay
(Recycled Clay, B-Mix, Black Mountain, Soldate or Rod’s Bod)
Cone 5/6 clay will also work.

Note: This class is primarily focused on hand-building. The wheel will be used in a few demos. It is helpful but not necessary to know how to throw pots on the wheel.

This eight-week intermediate-level class aims to increase the range of creative possibilities through the assembly of thrown and hand-built elements. Our focus will be the teapot. Demonstrations will include making and using simple press molds, making and forming “cheesy” soft leather-hard slabs and altering and reshaping thrown pieces. The use of soft leather-hard clay allows one to work with slabs both malleable yet somewhat rigid. Using the potter’s wheel allows one to add the parts that the wheel does best. Through the course of these demonstrations we will build a unique, asymmetrical teapot. The class will address various teapot questions such as: what kind of spout to make and where to put it, different handle options, and what kind of lid might be best. Finally we will discuss and demonstrate how to glaze the teapot with a different glaze inside and out.

Overview of classes by week:

Week One: Introduction and overview of processes to be covered
Week Two:
Discussion of press molds and how to make and use them
Week Three:
Throwing teapot body parts, constructed slab elements
Week Four:
Alter and assemble teapot body
Week Five:
Forming the additional elements: the galley, spout and lid
Week Six:
Assemble remaining pieces except for the handle
Week Seven:
Demonstration of various handles and handle construction
Week Eight:
Demonstration of glazing the teapot with different glazes inside and out

Bob has been teaching and working in ceramics since, as he says, “before the invention of dirt”. He received a BFA and MFA from California College of the Arts (CCA) with a major in ceramics, and later taught at Chadron State College in Nebraska, and at New Mexico State University as a member of both the graduate and undergraduate faculties. He has shown in many galleries throughout the US including the Fairtree Gallery in New York City, and his work is in various collections, such as New York State University at Buffalo, the permanent collection at CCA, and the Antonio Prieto Memorial Collection of Contemporary Ceramics at Mills College. Bob created Big River Pottery in New Mexico, selling his work throughout the US (and working as a fireman while not doing pottery). He has taught at The Potters’ Studio in Berkeley and Studio One in Oakland since 1990.