technical tuesday: Ann Ruel handbuilding a mug

This video is part of Ann’s Workshop Express Series. A series of FREE pottery project workshops that are condensed into 10 minute (or less) videos. This video demonstrates how Ann created her popular Frog Mug. This is an easy project that does not require a wheel and utilizes basic pottery tools. Please also check out Ann’s Video Workshop Series. These workshops are very detailed (typically 1.5 – 2 hours in length) and designed to help potters take their work to new levels of craftsmanship and artistry.

call for artists: Ceramics Studio Practicum @ Banff Center for the Arts


Studio Practicum programs provide an opportunity for participants to expand and enhance their technical skills in mediums supported by Banff Centre’s Visual Arts production facilities.

In this program, participants will develop ceramics techniques through practical experience with kiln firing (electric, gas, soda, raku, and wood), and ceramics studio operation.

Participants will receive mentorship and feedback from the Ceramics Facilitator, and assist in the delivery of Visual Arts residency programs and events. Participants will also learn maintenance and safe operation of equipment, and provide assistance to the Ceramics Facilitator in support of artists in residence utilizing the ceramics facilities.

What does the program offer?

Learning opportunities will arise through workshops, demonstrations, and instruction in studio training. Individual learning objectives and goals are determined in consultation with a mentor at the beginning of the program. Ceramics is the principal focus of this program, however supplementary learning opportunities may be offered in other Visual Arts disciplines throughout the program.

Practicum participants will experience hands-on learning in support of artist projects in Visual Arts residency programs. Participants will receive mentorship to strengthen their technical and artistic knowledge, as well as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills.

The regular course of study for the Ceramics Studio Practicum is 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Participants have the opportunity to spend one weekday focused on independent study, while the other four weekdays are dedicated to supporting the Ceramics Facilitator, artists in residence, and regular departmental projects.

Who should apply?

This program is suited for recent graduates of studio-based programs with an emphasis on ceramics. The program offers experience within a professional organization for those seeking careers as studio technicians or production assistants, or those in pursuit of graduate studies. Applicants must exhibit foundational skills in ceramics through their portfolio submissions.

Artists from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, with a special invitation to individuals of Indigenous descent.

Full details can be found HERE.

technical tuesday: Nixi Artisan Potters

The following is an excerpt text from “Nixi Artisan Potters” via Kathy Erteman’s website. She has had a number of experiences working with contemporary Nixi Artisan Potters.

Please read more of her writing here and find links to further resources and research – and make sure to check out her ceramic work as well.

“The Nixi Potters live in Tandui Village, nestled in a bucolic valley on the Tibetan plateau at 10,000 feet in Yunnan, China. The city of Shangri-la, a tourist destination famous for fresh air, Chinese herbs and Tibetan Culture, is a half hour drive away. The villagers are artisans and farmers, the heirs to a 1200-year-old tradition of pottery production threatened with extinction during the Chinese Cultural Revolution after which time only three artisan families remained in the village. In the ensuing decades the numbers of Nixi potters has steadily increased.  There are now 120 artisan families in the village. 
Traditional Nixi pottery is utilitarian black ware with decorative porcelain inlay and carving, used by all Tibetan households for cooking, and cultural and religious ceremonies. This deep tradition of pottery production is the social glue that provides community cohesion and economic opportunity for the entire village. Training of young artisans is done exclusively through apprenticeship with one of the village pottery masters. Apprentices begin by creating their own set of tools from rhododendron root, horn and leather. Apprenticeship is a slow process yet many of the younger generation are now making this choice.”

Below is a video from Youtube demonstrating some of the traditional techniques of these artisans.


Have you always wanted to know how glazes REALLY work?



Online Glaze Calculation Course!

Understanding our glazes is the most powerful thing we can do to make our work our own.
Yet how many of us really understand how our glazes work?

Ceramic Materials Workshop is here to help.
You can take our world renowned glaze calculation classes online, right now.

Designed for ceramicists of all levels, our Glaze Calculation courses will change your studio FOREVER.

​After years of teaching ceramic materials courses in a traditional classroom lecture, Matt Katz developed and designed the Ceramic Materials Workshop specifically for online educational access. These innovative courses have proved highly successful; student evaluations consistently praised Matt for his knowledge of ceramic materials and their applications and applauded him for his concise and personable presentation of challenging technical content. The online format proved exceptionally conducive to robust group interaction and discussion. I highly recommend these classes.

-Anne Currier, Professor Emerita,
​Alfred University

Watch a Sample Lecture:

Full details and sign up here.


Sign up now – Ceramic Materials Workshop

Ceramic Materials Workshop is a place online to understand and explore how and why our Clay and Glazes work (and don’t work).

Our materials speak for us in the kitchen and gallery, it benefits us to learn about how to speak through our materials. 

Mastering the skills of clay and glaze performance helps every ceramicists, become their best self in the studio. 

Ceramicists at all levels can now learn how Clay and Glazes function, online.
Here at Ceramic Materials Workshop.
About the instructors:  
Rose Katz
Has worked in the tile industry as a clay and glaze engineer for 10 years.
Rose has B.F.A from Alfred in ceramic art and spent many years as an independent artist and production potter.
Rose took her materials expertise to a mid-sized tile company many years ago, where she used her knowledge of ceramic materials and revolutionized the company’s materials and process. Winning awards and developing hundreds of glazes and clays in the process.
Rose’s experiences as a studio potter and tile maker, make her experience and knowledge truly special.
Matt Katz
Has taught ceramic materials for artists at Alfred University for over 15 years.
He is a working ceramic artist with a B.F.A from Alfred and M.F.A. from the University of Colorado-Boulder
He has worked as a Ceramic Engineer and researcher for almost 20 years.
Katz uses his knowledge of Art and Engineering to make ceramic science understandable for people of all experience levels.
Matt is an experienced online educator, who has crafted an online version of material studies, accessible and understandable for everyone.