Making Marks, with Robin Harper DVD
Quick Overview

Making Marks is a six-lesson DVD set dedicated to the decoration and enrichment of ceramic surfaces.

The series progresses through decoration techniques for soft and leather-hard clays, to brush-work and glazing methods for bisque ware, and finally to the effects of various firing methods.

The video presents a multitude of creative ideas, including working processes, tools, close-ups of surface details, and many examples of finished pieces.


Lesson One: Introduction and Surface Removal Processes (29 min).

Teaches surface removal techniques, including decoration by cutting, slashing, carving, scratching, and faceting. Also demonstrates fluting, sgraffito, filigree, surface expansion, washed wax, and expanded spring wire.

Lesson Two: Marks of Addition and Impression (29 min)

Presents techniques for adding to the surface by using burlap and slip, paper and slip, sprig molds, and modeling techniques. Also shows marking surfaces by using found objects, rolled rope, paddles, stamps, lino cuts, and sticks.

Lesson Three: Liquid and Colored Clays (29 min)

Presents a variety of decoration techniques with liquid clays. Also shows drawing, combing, marbling, dotting, feathering, and mocha diffusions with slips. In addition, it covers Japanese techniques of mishima, hakeme, and onda. Uses laminated clays of different colors to demonstrate neriage block-making, faceting, fluting, and thrown effects.

Lesson Four: Pigments and Resists (29 min)

Shows the effects of different brushes and underglaze pencils, and pastels, along with techniques for decoration with ceramic water colors, banding, and sponge stamps. Also features majolica, wax, and paper resists.

Lesson Five: Glazes and Glazing (29 min)

Presents the effects of different surfaces and firing temperatures, crystalline glazes, and various aspects of glaze development. Finished pieces are used to document various effects. Demonstrates gaze mixing and application techniques such as dipping, brushing, spraying, trailing, pouring, applying dry materials and stamping. Also includes the uses of intaglio and multiple glazes.

Lesson Six: Firing and Post-Firing Effects (29 min)

Delves into the various firing possibilities, beginning with a primitive pit kiln and raku firing, then oxidation firing in an electric kiln, and also reduction firing using a gas kiln. Shows many different pieces illustrating the effects of these different firing processes. Salt and soda and wood firing also are discussed using finished pieces. Includes techniques for working with saggars, and reduced and resonate lusters.

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