Monthly Archives: May 2010

American Ceramic Beads Artists

Ancient cultures from all corners of the globe have produced pottery and ceramic  beads for all forms of adornment and decoration.  The richness and fine detail currently achieved in these miniature artworks reflect a high degree of expertise and talent that are creating this fascinating art form.


Mary Harding Cearamic BeadMary Harding (aka Mary Harding McCallion) is a bead and jewelry artist who has been making ceramic beads since 1998. She works mostly with earthenware/ lowfire clay because she likes the way the clay expresses itself even after multiple firings. There is always that element of the unexpected.

Mary Harding’s work has been influenced by her interest in both contemporary masters such as John Cage, Freda Kahlo and Marguerite Duras and folk artists that she has researched both in Northern New York and Mexico. Her recent work in gathering the plants of the pastures of Northern New York into ceramic pendants is a form of folk history that is imaginatively interpreted by her colorful renderings of these resilient beauties.

Mary Harding sells her ceramic beads and pendants on her website and on

" Ceramic Harding ceramic bead "


SHARLEEN NEWLAND   / Shaterra Clay Studio

"Shaterra ceramics beads"

Sharleen Newland makes earthenware beads, which are fired to cone 04 bisque, then glazed and fired again to cone 06. Each firing takes about 7 hours, so making and glazing clay beads is not a quick process. Sharleen thinks the hardest part is waiting for the kiln to cool down, which takes about another 6 hours. Patience is required before the clay is cool enough to hold the pretty new beads. Opening the kiln after a glaze firing is like a treasure hunt! Many glazes change colors in the kiln, so it is always exciting to see what’s there. Some items get a third firing, which is called an overglaze. Overglazes can give pearl effects, or sometimes Sharleen uses pure white and yellow gold to add elegance to the pieces.

Sharleen’s background is in fashion design, and her love for color and fabric embellishment shows in her work. Sharleen also designs machine embroidery and sewing projects for two national magazines.

Sharleen’s studio is located in Groveport, OH. She sells both retail and wholesale, although most of her business is wholesale. Sharleen can be found exhibiting at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, WI each June. Stop by and say Hi! Sharleen loves to talk about ceramic beads!


Shaterra ceramic bead

LISA SHIFFLET / Shifflett Studios

Living most of her life in Central Florida, Lisa Shifflett gets most of her inspiration from nature and the ocean. She also combines abstract designs with those ideas to create her unique pieces. Lisa has always had a love for art and a strong need to create. After dabbling in many medias, her favorites are clay and glass. She has been working in clay since 2002 and ventured into glass in 2004. In 2004, she was introduced to jewelry making and quickly became frustrated by the limited variety of really unique focal beads available for her creations. As a result, Shifflett Pottery & Glass Works was born offering a wide variety of handmade pendants, beads, finished jewelry designs and other creations featuring porcelain, stoneware, and fused glass.

Shifflett ceramic beads

Shifflett3 ceramics beadsMiska ceramic beads


Virginia’s ceramic beads are made from earthenware clay and often depict animals which are intricately carved in low relief. She then incises the clay with linear detail and applies an underglaze stain to the surface which is then wiped away and fills the deep lines and low areas. This process resembles that of etching, which she studied at The Art Institute of Boston. Virginia’s interest in watercolor painting comes into play when she applies washes of underglaze color that pool on the surface and blend with other colors. A final step which intensifies these colors is the application of a high gloss glaze.

For many years Virginia sold her line of ceramic jewelry line to stores throughout the country, where she was best know for her cat designs. In her small scale ceramic work she is currently focusing her attention on beads and enjoys the freedom to experiment with shape, texture and color in one-of-a-kind designs.

Virginia resides in the Santa Monica, California where her close proximity to the ocean, mountains, and desert influence her work.




UCan2 Studio specializes in mixed media and raku ceramic beads and jewelry.

UCan2Studio Ceramic BeadsUCan2Studio Ceramic Bead



Lisa’s pieces are made out of several different clay bodies such as stoneware and porcelain and fired using a variety of methods, with a primary focus in Raku. Manipulating glaze, incorporating precious metal clay and other surprise elements on to the surface yields wonderfully unexpected results. Lisa strives to find beauty in the imperfect circle, the ragged-unfinished edge and the slightly crooked line. Formed by hand, all pieces she creates are totally unique. The journey Lisa’s pieces take is an exciting one. Each piece is subjected to multiple firings and during the Raku process, a rather theatrical event, beautiful metallic and crackled surfaces are obtained creating elegant pieces with a somewhat primitive feel. A multi media artist with a BFA from The School of Visual Arts in NYC, Lisa began her artistic career as a commercial still life and editorial photographer. After years of feeling the tug of a more diverse medium, Lisa experimented until she found clay. At present Lisa uses sculpture, encaustic and mixed media to express her artistic vision as well as creating a line of buttons, beads and pendants for other artists to use in their creations.

0LisaPeters ceramic beads 0LisaPeters beads


Clay River Designs  specialize in handmade porcelain pendants, beads, and other fun shapes in clay. Our designs are drawn from nature, celtic, arts & crafts, native american, whimsical, & more.




JoanMiller ceramic beadsJoan has a BFA from the Maryland Institute of Art and has been working as a full-time professional craftsperson since 1989. She maintains an in-home studio on 13 wooded acres in Eastern PA where she lives with her husband, two dogs, a cat and a frog. Her work is done primarily in porcelain, using body stains in porcelain slips. Her detail work and use of color and pattern are exquisite! Nature is her best source of inspiration as frogs, fish and other small creatures are frequent subject matter. In recent years she has concentrated on art beads. Joan says, “To me beads take on a life of their own, just like the little critters portrayed on them. A good bead can stand on it’s own as an individual work of art, but is just as comfortable being incorporated into another piece of art.”


Lily BoucherFor more information on any of the above artists go to :

Shaterra Clay


Master Dutch Potter – Willem Stuurman



Ox blood red jug – Willem Stuurman




Willem Stuurman giving a pottery demonstration

Willem Stuurman



Zenith_art deco jug Stuurman,-Willem

Zenith art deco jug- Willem Stuurman


Willem Stuurman-dutch pottery crimson red ovoid vase with black floral motif

Willem Stuurman is recognized as a great artist in Dutch Pottery who was born in Amsterdam in 1908. He started pottery in 1922 at the age of 14 in the Quellinusschool ( Amsterdam ) by taking courses from Bert Nienhuis. In 1927 he began teaching at the Institute of Applied Art  school in Amsterdam. In the period !928 – 1934 he worked as an artistic director in the pottery factories at Eskaf in Huizen, Kennemerland in Velsen, St lucas in Maarsseen and Zenith and Goedewaagen. He designed around 300 Art Deco potteries for Zenith and some of them went on to become famous.

Because of this, he left his mark on art around this period. From 1932 he worked as an independent ceramist. In 1938 he rediscovered the so-called “Royal Blue”. This was  a blue glaze, used by the Egyptians around the time of the New Kingdom (c. 1567 BC). It was widely  used for amulets and pottery, Ushabti  ( funery figurines ) and beautiful objects. The  knowledge of how to make these blue glazes had been lost.

Lourve-Museum Egyptian-shabti

The special feature of the ” King Blue ”was that when two objects such as a blue glazed” Delft “blue plate was placed alongside  a plate in ” Royal Blue “,  the ” Delft ” plate no longer looks blue but purple.

His first major international exhibition was in Boston, USA in 1938.

Also  around that era in the Netherlands, all major cities had exhibitions of his work. He also taught pottery to Princess Beatrix. There were purchases of his ceramics made by Queen Wilhelmina and the Museum. Major assignments during that time,  included a mosaic of eighteen square meters, various war memorials and murals in public buildings. He was a guest designer in 1940 at the Royal Glass Industry in Leerdam. In 1948 at the exhibition in Montreal his work was represented as the Dutch entry. After a lustrous career, he died in 1995 in Amersfoort in the Neverlands.

bulbous white vase with blur flowers motifWillem Stuurman

Willem Stuurman floral vase



Willem Stuurman ceramic jug

Willem Stuurman jug



Black lidded vessel by Willem Stuurman

Black lidded jewellry box – Willem Stuurman



Willem Stuurman crimson red vase

Ox blood red vase – Willem Stuurman



Matching green colour ceramic bowl and plate by Willem Stuurman

Willem Stuurman



Light blue Zenith jug by Willem Stuurman

Blue Zenith Jug – Willem Stuurman





Arnhem Pottery



Willem Stuurman jug



Black art deco jug by by Willem Stuurman

Art Deco Black jug – Willem Stuurman


Dutch ceramicist Willem Stuurman turquoise jug

Turquoise jug – Willem Stuurman



Teal coloured art deco pitcher by Willem Stuurman

Teal Pitcher – Willem Stuurman

Ovoid vessel with abstract motif - Willem Stuurman

Ovoid vase – Willem Stuurman

Willem Stuurman dish with abstract swirl motif

Dish with abstract motif – Willem Stuurman



Willem-Stuurman-dish-with flying white seagulls

Flying seagull plate – Willem Stuurman



Willem Stuurman black jug with orange and white abstract motif

Willem Stuurman Art Deco jug



Black and orange jugs by Willem StuurmanA black and an orange pitcher – Willem Stuurman



small ceramic vessel - Willem-Stuurman




Teal dish by Willem Stuurman

Willem Stuurman



Zenith jug in red, black and yellow by Willem Stuurman

Zenith Vase designed by Willem Stuurman



Willem Stuurman small creamer

Willem Stuurman ceramic creamer



” Love Couple “ by Willem Stuurman


( Stedelijk Museum )

Willem Stuurman red jug and sugar bowl on a red tray

Red creamer and sugar bowl, tray

Willem-Stuurman-dish---Zenith-Gouda-Snavelkan - jug in teal green

Teal green jug – Willem Stuurman



Willem Stuurman black tulip vase

Willem Stuurman tulip vase




Willem-Stuurman art deco -jug

Willem Stuurman jug




Zenith Gouda vase, Holland



Contemporary Ceramics-Somerset House, London.

Contemporary Ceramics at Somerset House : The following gallery represents an excellent collection of ceramics based in London. Contemporary Ceramics has opened an exciting new exhibition space in Somerset House. The new location presents a unique and lively gallery in which both contemporary and traditional studio ceramics sit side by side. Contemporary Ceramics exhibits original and distinctive work, illustrating the current diversity of thought and making processes practised across this stimulating discipline.Once a month, a selection of new makers will be introduced. The new venue creates a setting where the vitality and everyday function of handmade mugs and bowls can be enjoyed and celebrated alongside the aesthetic considerations of stand-alone pieces.

French ceramicist gilles-le-corre

French- ceramicist-gilles-le-corre

" clare-conrad-pottery "

Clare Conrad

Carolyn Gendors

Carolyn Genders says of her work ; ”Living in the country I cannot ignore the seasons and the consequent transformation of the landscape throughout the year. This influences my work and referring to landscape studies in my sketchbook and the marks and brushwork of my life drawings, I work intuitively on forms developed from organic sources.  Responding to the material, enjoying the rhythm as I move around the form, I make marks of depth and variation, scratching and scraping through layers of slip, revealing the clay and emphasising the dryness of engobe or the softness of burnished slip; the silky surface emerging as polished as a sea worn pebble.  I work spontaneously, creating forms and surfaces that evoke the feeling I have when I am part of the landscape, not illustrating it but striving to convey nuance of shape, balance and mass and creating mood and atmosphere.”

" Sarah Dunstan Vessel "

Sarah Dunstan

Sarah Dunstan decorates rolled out sheets of clay, using various techniques including painting and printing with coloured slips. The pieces are then put together using paper templates to create the final form – similar to the patterns that her mother used as a dressmaker when she was a child.

" charles-bound-ceramics "


" Gaby red vessel "

Gaby red vessel

" Anne-James-vessel "


Anne James makes thrown porcelain forms, sometimes modified by beating. Each piece is covered with coloured slip and burnished while still slightly damp, after biscuit firing further slip decoration is applied and fired, often several times adding extra lustres. The work is taken hot from the kiln and smoked in sawdust.

" Blakely dish "

Blakely dish

Mathew Blakey was born in the UK, studied at the National Art School, Sydney, Australia in 1993 and returned to the UK in 2002. His work is thrown softly in porcelain and often altered or distorted to give the pots energy and movement. They are glazed in rich aqueous glazes that enhance the softness of the forms.

" Tim Andrews red bowl "

Tim Andrews

Tim Andrews specialises in smoked and burnished pots including raku. Trained with David Leach 78-79 and at Dartington Pottery Workshop 79-81. For number of years made mostly domestic stoneware and porcelain. 1986-93 shared studio with David Leach. Since beginning of 1994 working from own workshop in Devon. He favours strong classical forms with a variety of surface textures, impressed and incised decoration, fuming, lustres and other treatments.

" south-east-connell "


" peter beard pottery "

Peter Beard

Peter Beard makes thrown and hand build individual pieces mainly in stoneware. High and low temperature glazes with colour pigments are used to achieve matt and fluid textures giving a wide range of pastel to strong colours.
Author of ‘Resist and masking techniques’.

" Sandy Brown Ceramics "

Sandy Brown

Sandy Brown trained in Japan.  Her work is now widely exhibited internationally. Sandy makes expressive lively pots that show the tactile sensuality of clay with fresh spontaneous decoration. She runs workshops on Intuition and Creativity and lectures and demonstrates world-wide

Susan Nemeth  Textile Bowl

Susan Nemeth Textile

Nicola Tassie Jug

Nicola Tassie Jug

Raku crackle Nela

Nela Ceramics


Nela Ceramics Raku

Nela Ceramics Raku

Ceramic sink NelaCeramics

Ceramic Sink Nela Ceramics


" green bottles Sophie Cook "

Sophie Cook

John Pollex

Ashraf Hanna Vase

Ashraf Hanna Vase

Richard Godfry Vase

Richard Godfry

Marcus O'Mahony Salt Glaze Bottle

Marcus O’Mahony


Marcus O’Mahony fires his work in a three chamber wood kiln and a salt glaze gas kiln.He is fascinated by the interaction of salt and wood fire with the clay. These methods of firing enhance the form and are a source of constant inspiration.

Emily Myers Ceramic

Emily Myers

Lesby Risby Ceramic Sculpture

Lesby Risby

Marie Prett

visit Contemporary Ceramics


Amazing Porcelain Shapes and Crystalline Glazes – Josh Pehrson Ceramics

This is some recent work from Josh Pehrson which were created over the last few months. Highly productive output!

Josh Pearson Bio :

Josh Pehrson was born in 1974 in St. Peter, Minnesota and  raised in Fergus Falls. “My passion has always been to be an inventor every day of my life” says Pehrson. Like so many great artists, his works have taken on many mediums. An accomplished woodworker, he apprenticed for four years at a custom shop in St. Paul where he built, repaired, and restored antiquated pieces of Victorian mansions. A love for designing and building motorcycles has also helped hone many of his talents. He was introduced to wheel thrown pottery by his friend and mentor Lori Charest. Josh’s fascination with crystal glazes started three years ago and since then it has become an obsession. Combined with great skill, craftsmanship, and artistic sense, these stunning crystalline pieces reflect his influences from life.

The Crystalline Process- explanation by Josh.


Over two hundred years ago crystals accidentally appeared on porcelain pottery in China.
What was, at first seen as a mistake, is today pursued and valued.craftsmanship
The same forces (temperature and time) that create the diamonds, rubies, and sapphires we wear as jewelry, also create the spectacular patterns and colors you see on these pieces of pottery.
These pots have been fired to normal glaze temperature then lowered quickly to the crystal growing temperatures approaching 2000 degrees.
The crystals start forming from minute particles of Zinc in the glaze over a 4-6 hour soak period.
The colors come from the addition of various colorants that are added to the glaze. Varying the time and temperature of the soak period controls the size and shape of the crystals.
Many potters consider crystalline glazes to be the most challenging of all glazes to produce. This is because they are unusually difficult and time-consuming to formulate and fire.
Crystal glazes are extremely fickle.  When the glaze succeeds in capturing the luminescence of crystal formulations, it achieves a level of elegance and enchantment no other glaze can match.



Josh Pehrson Crystaline Ceramic



Star – Series in Gold



Blue and new

Josh-Pehrson Green Pitcher

Green Pitcher


Cobalt – Vivid Series



Josh Pehrson Vase
Solo – Vivid Series



Josh Pehrson green crystalline glazes



Josh Pehrson



Josh Pehrson crystalline glaze vase
Josh Pehrson crystalline glaze vase



Josh Pehrson crystalline glaze vessel



Crystalline glaze vase



Crystalline glaze lidded jar



Crystalline glaze lidded vessel




Josh Pehrson lidded jar





Josh Pehrson’s Facebook link



Alchemical process of Renaissance potters.

 Italian Majolica


This is a fascinating article from Naturenews- it seems like their glazing techniques were highly developed for that time and the techniques they employed for attaining the rich colours in their glazes were possibly influenced by the ancient art of alchemy.

Chemical secrets of 15th century Italian potters revealed.

Artisans glazing pots in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Umbria were practising an early form of nanotechnology. Italian researchers have now revealed the full sophistication of this process1.

Coloured glazes in pottery samples from the Umbrian town of Deruta exploited  the reflective properties of minute metal grains to give them a rich lustre. Bruno Brunetti of the University of Perugia and colleagues found that the manufacture of these glazes required great chemical skilsl.

During its peak in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the finely painted ceramics of the Deruta pottery industry were in demand all over Europe.

Glazes are essentially thin films of coloured glass. Metal salts give colour to a glassy matrix produced by fusing sand alkalis such as soda in the heat of a kiln. Coloured glazes – such as blue-glazed stone carvings from the Middle East – have been around since at least 4500 BC.

Previous analysis of Umbrian Renaissance pottery showed that they had a chemical composition typical of the period: a mix of sand and alkali, with lead oxide added to reduce shrinkage and cracking.

It’s the colorants that show the true, if largely unwitting, sophistication of the Italian potters’ skills, Brunetti’s team have found.

Among the most striking Deruta ceramics are those with iridescent or metallic glazes. Some look like gold, others are iridescent – changing colour when viewed from different perspectives.

Previous studies have shown that particles of metal of between 5 and 100 billionths of a metre across – technically, a nanomaterial – underlie this effect. In 2001 Brunetti and coworkers found that red-and gold-lustre glazes contained particles of copper and silver, respectively, in this size range2. Instead of scattering light, the particles’ minute size causes light to bounce off their surface at different wavelengths, giving metallic or iridescent effects.

Metal nanoparticles aren’t the whole story, the team now finds. The red and gold glazes also contained traces of copper ions in what appear to be finely tuned amounts.

The presence of this copper shows that the potters achieved exquisite control of the firing process that formed the glazes. The copper ions may also alter the way light interacts with the glassy host material, enhancing the lustre.

All that glitters………

Historical evidence for the early nanotechnology survives in the potter’s handbook of around 1557, Li tre libri dell’arte del vasaio, by Italian craftsman Cipriano Piccolpasso. Copper and silver salts were mixed with vinegar, ochre (iron oxide) and clay and applied to the surface of pottery already coated with a glaze. A delicately regulated firing technique resulted in a pot having a lustrous surface.

In the Renaissance, these effects, which today would be seen as merely pleasing, had a deeper significance. Turning mundane materials into something resembling gold was regarded as a feat bordering on alchemy. Because colour change colours were deemed to be essential in the alchemical process, iridescence was seen as an alchemically significant property.

Author: Phillip Ball

Majolica battle scene dish

 Italian majolica plate

Italian Maiolica Vase

Italian Majolica vessel from a pharmacy

circa – 1510


Maestro Giorgio Andreoli dish

Workshop of Maestro Giorgio Andreoli (Italian, Gubbio, ca. 1465–1553)

( Met Museum )

" National Gallery Victoria- Maiolica "

Urbino Majolica dish –  circa 1545



Dish with a knight on a horse – majolika, Italy

Dish with an angel driving Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Lustred in golden and ruby lustre.

A plate painted with an angel driving Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Lustred in golden and ruby lustre.

circa  1531

Maolica  (  National Gallery of Victoria – NGV )

Majolica Dish 1520

Jesus of Nazereth, King of the Jews – majolica plate from Deruta, Italy


Met, NY

Mojolica dishDish with portrait of a woman, c1490-c1525. Maiolica dish painted with a woman in profile, and a scroll inscribed ‘PÊDORMIRENONSAQUISTA’, (‘nothing is gained by sleeping’).


Majolica dish, Italy 1528


Majolica bottle

Corcoran Gallery of Art Collection

Flat plate, painted by Maestro Giorgio, Gubbio or Urbino, dated 1537, tin-glazed earthenware

Painted decoration and golden and reddish lustre, with a horseman with a standard riding through a landscape.

Iconography from a series of Roman heroes by Marcantonio Raimondi.

Plate with Scene of Calliope and a Youth

Nicola da Urbino, dating from the early 16th century, in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC.

 The scene depicted is that of the muse Calliope crowning a prince with wisdom, while an astrologer looks on and reads his chart.

( Mr.T in DC  – flickr )


Large dish with St. Lazarus surrounded by a wide border of grotesque ornament, putti and four medallions. Painted with blue, green and yellow and with gold lustre.


Cupid with Minerva

Workshop of Maestro Giorgio Andreoli of Gubbio (c. 1465/1470 – 1555)

Two Handled Vase with the Arms of Medici Impaling Orsini

Two Handled Vase with the Arms of Medici Impaling Orsini