Cover image for Handbuilt pottery techniques revealed : the secrets of handbuilding shown in unique cutaway photography
Handbuilt pottery techniques revealed : the secrets of handbuilding shown in unique cutaway photography
Atkin, Jacqui.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Hauppauge, N.Y. : Barron's, [2004]

Physical Description:
160 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 28 cm
General Note:
"A Quarto book"--T.p. verso.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TT920 .A85 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Here are directions for many creative, fun-to-do pottery projects potters can follow to produce handsome finished objects without need of a potter's wheel. The author instructs in coil, slab, mold, and pinch techniques to produce pots, bowls, vases, tiles, and other decorative pieces. She also advises on acquiring basic tools, mixing and preparing clay, and using coloring agents. Newcomers to pottery crafting will especially appreciate her tips for making projects easier to accomplish, such as use of a hairdryer at regular intervals for drying out too-wet clay, and easy methods for keeping clay soft and pliable. Step-by-step color photos with detailed captions guide handcrafters through each project from start to finish. Many photos are of the cutaway type to show correct hand positions for controlling the clay, both inside and outside the form. Here's the book that takes the mystery out of handbuilding in clay, demonstrating each step in the pottery-making process. More than 400 color photos.

Author Notes

Russ Hibbeler graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana with a B.S. in Civil Engineering (major in structures) and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Northwestern University.Hibbeler's professional experience includes postdoctoral work in reactor safety and analysis at Argonne National Laboratory, and structural work at Chicago Bridge and Iron, Sargent and Lundy, Tucson. He has practiced engineering in Ohio, New York, and Louisiana.He has taught at the University of Illinois-Urbana, Youngstown State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Union College. Hibbeler currently teaches at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
About the Adapter

Fan Sau Cheong , from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, received his PhD from the University of Hong Kong. Professor Fan is also Deputy Director, Centre for Advanced Numerical Engineering Simulations (CANES) at NTU. His industrial experience include work and research in bridges, tall buildings, shell structures, jetties, pavements, cable structures, glass diaphragm walls. Professor Fan was also the adaptor for the 5th and 6th SI editions of Hibbeler's Mechanics of Materials , and the 11th SI edition of Hibbeler's Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics .

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This is a fun, innovative, but incomplete book on the art of handbuilding pottery. An experienced teacher and writer, Atkin begins with information about the tools for handbuilding and about clays-their types, preparation, and handling. The body of the book covers the basic methods of coiling, pinching, slabbing, and making and using molds. Unique cutaway photographs show the position of the hands on both the inside and the outside of a piece. Projects include coiled baskets, garden sculpture, modeled birds, porcelain boxes, laminated dishes, and low-relief tiles. The book's aim is "to provide the potter with all the necessary technical information to complete the projects demonstrated"; however, Atkin neglects to offer any but the sketchiest information about the critical process of firing. A good book on the subject, but it needs to be used in combination with titles like Jo Connell's The Potter's Guide to Ceramic Surfaces. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
Toolsp. 8
Clayp. 10
Kneadingp. 15
Chapter 1 Coilingp. 16
Using rounded coilsp. 18
Using flattened coilsp. 24
Coiled bowlp. 28
Coiled dishp. 34
Coiled basketp. 40
Coiled surface decorationp. 46
Garden sculpturep. 52
Chapter 2 Pinchingp. 58
Pinching a simple bowl formp. 60
Joining two pinched bowls to make a simple pebblep. 64
Modeling a clay podp. 66
Modeling a clay birdp. 72
Bowl setp. 78
Chapter 3 Slabbingp. 84
Using firm slabs to make a lidded boxp. 86
Building a vessel with soft slabsp. 92
Making a decorated window box with large slabbingp. 98
Porcelain boxesp. 102
Butter dishp. 108
Chapter 4 Moldingp. 114
Making a press moldp. 116
Making and using a low-relief tile mold with a simple repeat patternp. 120
Making a two-part moldp. 124
Press molding from a two-part moldp. 128
Using a two-part mold with casting slip to cast a formp. 130
Sprig moldp. 132
Dish with sprig decorationp. 138
Simple agate bowlp. 142
Laminated porcelain dishp. 146
Double-walled bowlp. 152
Index and creditsp. 158