Illustrative clayart with vivacity and flair



Claudia Beldent-At the party vase with couple at the piano

Claudia Beldent – ‘At the party’


Adapting images to the curvature of thrown forms introduces many challenges such as shifting perspectives, limited space and the myriad of decisions involved in deciding how to apply the paint to the surface of the clay. Here is a selection of curvy vessels chosen for their vivacity and spontaneous stroke work along with highlighting the ingenuity of clayartists in creating and adapting hand painted art on sinuous forms.



A-Castelli-two-handled-vase,-circa-1540 renaisaince majolica from Italy

Castelli twin handled vase, circa 1540, Italy




Anna Pottery quad legged stoneware vase

Anna Pottery quad legged, carved stoneware vase, salt-glazed with brushed cobalt highlights



Japonais vase pair



Laura Zindel botanical motif bottles

(Photograph by Jarrod McCabe)

To create her unique pieces, Zindel transfers her whimsical graphite drawings onto handmade dishware using a modernized version of the transferware technique, which was developed in 18th-century England for printing patterns on pottery with an engraved metal plate. Once Zindel’s drawings are ready, they’re photographed digitally and converted into black-and-white silk-screens, then printed onto individual pieces and refired in the kiln. (BostonMagazine)


Botellas y vasos -- Alfajar - female face motif

Botellas y vasos — Alfajar, Spain



Matthew Metz--Large Pitcher--Schaller Gallery with leaf and flower decoration

Matthew Metz — Large Pitcher

Schaller Gallery





Botellas-y-vasos-Alfajar -- cubist Picasso style female head

Botellas y vasos from Alfajar — cubist Picasso style female head



Ceramic Pitcher Vase by Robert Picault in Vallauris, 1950s

Ceramic Pitcher Vase by Robert Picault, gold lustre highlights

Vallauris, 1950s



A fahua 'Scholar and pine' vase, meiping,Ming dynasty

A fahua ‘Scholar and pine’ meiping vase

Ming dynasty – Alain Truong.


Zuid Holland-Gouda Pottery-Semi matte Glaze Vase

Gouda Pottery-Semi matte Glaze bird on branch vase

Zuid Holland, 1923




Nathalie Djakou Kassi Creations hand carved ceramic vessels

Nathalie Djakou Kassi Creations hand carved ceramic vessels



Circles and Squares II,-ceramic,oxide, underglazes -- ME Taylor

‘Circles and Squares II’, ceramic, oxide, underglazes — ME Taylor



Bathers in yellow and black — Raoul Dufy & Llorens Artigas Collaboration




Custom made teacup & saucer set Underglazes handpainted & airbrushed - Tanya Bechara

Teacup & saucer set Underglazes handpainted & airbrushed – Tanya Bechara




Hungarian artist Hansi Staël design for Secla of Portugal

Hungarian artist Hansi Staël design for Secla of Portugal




Marty Ray


In the late 60’s I began classes in clay, creating sculpture and pottery. My first clay teacher was sculptor, Octavio Medellin and then potters, Michael Obranovich, John Miller (TWU) and John McElroy (SMU). Clay grabbed my full attention with all of the possibilities that takes more than a lifetime to explore.

Technique — (1) Scraffito thru black slip on white clay  (2) incised drawing on brown clay  painted with colored slip & glaze — Stoneware Clay fired to Cone 6 – electric kiln  


Marty Ray -- festival-Stoneware,-Slip,-&-Clay-10.5x5

Marty Ray — ‘Festival’

Stoneware, Slip, & Clay  10.5 x 5 inches



‘City Skies’  —  Marty Ray

Stoneware, scraffito thru black slip with color underglazes



Marty Ray Happy Cats-Stoneware, Slip, & Clay-11x6-inches

Marty Ray ‘Happy Cats’

Stoneware, Slip, & Clay-11×6-inches



Marty Ray-ceramic sgraffito tea pot

Marty Ray-ceramic tea pot

Stoneware, Slip, & Clay



Interaction Stoneware, Slip, & Clay- Marty Ray 12x7

‘Interaction’   Marty Ray

12 x 7 inches



Italia Liberty vase



Ceramic artistLaura Bird-depicts-long-haired-ladies-running-along-the-sides-of-her-painted-ceramics.

Laura Bird — long haired ladies dish



Inna Olshansky ceramic raku fish sculpture

Inna Olshansky ceramic raku fish sculpture




Jacques Innocenti,-Large Ceramic Vase Pitcher,-Black-and-White

Jacques Innocenti,- Large Ceramic Vase Pitcher



Gouda-Semi matte Glaze Breetvelt Pottery Vase,-Holland,

Gouda –  stylized abstract design semi matte glaze Breetvelt Pottery Vase

Holland, 1920




Jenny Mendes bunny hug vase

Jenny Mendes bunny hug vase



‘Face Cups’ – Jenny Mendez



Jenny-Mendes-illustrative ceramics

Jenny Mendes

Cats – Jenny Mendes

The descent of Jenny Mendes into the swamp of chaos and returning in triumph

I started the painting on this cup yesterday.(see above) I liked the drawings, and needed to fill in the details. Somehow, I lost my clarity and the background got totally confused. But I still really liked the figures, so I kept trying to fix it, only getting deeper and deeper into the swamp of chaos…… I actually almost gave up, it looked horrible and felt like a failure, and I was so close to throwing it into the trash, but still I really liked the initial drawings, especially this one, so I didn’t quit, and eventually, by washing back the surface I got to a place that I really liked. It kind of reminded me of Van Goghs starry starry night… But, it was tough getting there. Why am I writing this? To encourage anyone in their work not to take the easy way out, but stick with it and find a way out of the darkness when it isn’t going well. Up until this point for the last ten or so paintings I have done, it was easy, but on this one I really hit the wall, and then, like coming up to the surface of the water after diving down way too deep, and thinking I might drown, I surfaced, and with a new discovery! By wiping away the background, I created a really lively surface that excited me, and at that point the hours of distress that it took to get to that point were worth it……




Jenny orchard bubble vase

Jenny Orchard bubble vase



Jenny Orchard pottery vase

Jenny Orchard

Sydney, Australia


Large teapot and base - Kathleen Raven

Large majolica teapot — Kathleen Raven

BC, Canada



Three sided vase by Rybasolnca

Three sided vase by Rybasolnca, Ukraine



rectangular ceramic planter with figures drawings -- by Rybasolnca

Footed rectangular ceramic planter with figures drawings — by Rybasolnca




Rybasolnca ceramic plate



Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Brushpot probably 19th-century

Dragon motif Chinese Famille Verte porcelain brushpot

probably 19th century




Picasso Matador and Bull ceramic jug

1950’s Madoura



Laurie Shaman--birds in garden vase

Laurie Shaman



‘Pianissimo’ — Galina Bulganin, Russia



Boccale porcelain cup Royal-Copenhagen

Boccale porcelain cup Royal-Copenhagen





Marcello Fantoni-Ceramic Vase- Five Ladies Italian pottery

Itallian Marcello Fantoni — ‘Five Ladies vase’



Martin-Boyd-lidded-jar girl with basket

Martin Boyd lidded jar



Michael-Anderson-Vase with girl motif

Michael Anderson



Miltos Manetas large ceramic vase with abstract decoration

Miltos Manetas large ceramic vase with abstract decoration



OZM figure cone vase

Cone vase with figures – Sally Hook



Sally Hooke Festival-Vessels in black and white ---51cm--55cm

Sally Hook Festival Vessels in black and white

Height 51cm  &  55cm



Hand Painted vase by Polly Courtin,

Ceramic vase by Polly Courtin



Nicolas Rousseau footed bowl

Nicolas Rousseau footed bowl



Paul Louis Mergier ovoid vase-of-copperware-hammered-brass-riders-decor

Paul Louis Mergier – ovoid vase of copperware



Pol Chambost--mid century jug with nude female figures

Pol Chambost jug



Rare Ceramic 'Eared' Vase 'Vase à Oreilles' with Horse by Roger Capron (1950s)

Ceramic ‘Eared’ Vase ‘Vase à Oreilles’ with Horse by Roger Capron




René Buthaud (1886-1986). Vase céramique émaillée craquelée. Vers 1920-1923.

Hand painted ovoid vase by Rene Buthaud

Vase céramique émaillée craquelée. Vers 1920-1923.



Rorstrand-vase with a musician playing lute and a female dancer

Rorstrand ovoid vase with a musician and a female dancer



Royal Copenhagen ceramic vase by Johanne Gerber

Royal Copenhagen ceramic vase by Johanne Gerber




Sandra Wray abstract figure vase

Sandra Wray abstract figure vase



Sandra Wray vase with offset lip

Sandra Wray vase with offset lip



Sandra Wray ceramic vase with female head

Sandra Wray




Shot Putting, earthenware bowl,-Jitka Palmer

‘Shot Putting’, earthenware bowl by Jitka Palmer




Painting a vase – Jitka Palmer self portrait jug



Titano San Marino asymmetrical abstract  vase



Vase-à-corps-ovoïde-with muscular hunter -- Rene Buthaud

Vase à corps ovoïde with muscular hunter and mottled pattern– Rene Buthaud



Moorcroft littoral life vase-shape 300-13,-signed by Paul Hilditch

Moorcroft Littoral Life vase, shape 300-13,- signed by Paul Hilditch



Vase Romano Innocenti_1958_ceramica

Vase Romano Innocenti




Vintage Mexican pottery vase with serpent handles

Vintage Mexican pottery vase



Vintage Tlaquepaque 'petatillo' olla

Vintage Tlaquepaque ‘petatillo’ olla




Contemorary Celedon Porelains from Chen Lu, China




Waylande Gregory Art Deco rooster motif ceramic table lamp






  1. Melissa
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I just want to thank you for all your wonderful posts. I am a high school ceramics teacher in North Carolina and I regularly use your site to share ceramics work with my students. Thank you so much for this valuable resource!

  2. Cynthia Moreno
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    What a treat to wake up to these happy images of others’ creativity

    Posted June 12, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink


  4. Stephen Rich
    Posted December 25, 2018 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Hi there,
    I’m an ex employee of Wedgwoods/Royal Doulton and Beswicks consisting of freehand decoration on a whole range of their individual designs over a twenty year period and am now considering starting my own website ie Rich Ceramics (Rich/Rare Individual Ceramics Handmade) and wondered if you’d be interested in promoting/selling any of your wares on such a site. I would charge only on sales made at a variable % rate depending on price of ware being sold. If your interested or have any ideas of your own please let me know at the above Email address
    All The Best From
    Steve Rich

  5. Posted August 21, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Just splendid

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