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Nan Rothwell | Presenter at PC Functional Ceramics+Beyond

Carolyn Dorr

Read more about the Conference go here: http://ceramicartsdaily.org/potters-council/functional-ceramics-beyond/


Playing with Thrown Forms; Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Starting with wheel-thrown components, Nan will demonstrate multiple ways to alter their shapes and add texture. Techniques will include faceting with a wiggle wire while the wheel is stationary and moving, creating square and oval forms, and stretching a surface that has been dried with cornstarch to create a parched-earth texture.


Nan will show you a number of ways to step outside your comfort zone and work larger, including how to center larger amounts of clay in stages, and how to grow a pot by adding then throwing successive rings of clay. You will come away from the demo with an expanded sense of what is possible on the wheel, in shapes, textures and sizes.



Additional Information:

Nan has been potting since 1969, working in salt glaze and cone ten reduction firing. Her pots are made to be used — to enhance the rituals of preparing and eating food, to hold flowers, to light a corner for reading. Making functional work connects her to the age-old powerful tradition of artist craftsmen who make beautiful objects for daily use. After all these years, Nan enjoys every aspect of making pottery, especially throwing and firing. The alchemy of transforming soft clay into finished pots continues to excite and inspire her.


After initial training in England and Ireland, Nan now works in rural Virginia. Instead of the multiple repetition of her early production, she now works in short series of related but not identical pots. In the past several years, Nan has expanded beyond small domestic ware to include larger forms. Coming to this fairly late in her potting career has meant having to learn techniques that compensate for the physical effects of aging – working in stages, using softer clay, & etc.


Nan looks forward to sharing some of those tricks and techniques at the conference. She had wonderful, generous teachers as a young potter, and welcomes the opportunity to pass the favor on. Her love of teaching is hardly altruistic — Nan finds it valuable, as it forces her to examine processes and visual decisions. Having to explain keeps her questioning why she does things a certain way. Nan tries new techniques and forms as she respond to her students’ queries. Teaching is an exhilarating exchange – one that challenges her set ways of doing things. As someone who has made pots in relative rural isolation for many years, Nan is especially grateful for the chance to get out of her driveway and present at conferences and workshops – always sources of new energy and ideas.



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Functional Ceramics + Beyond | Potters Council Conference

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