Ceramics carving techniques

piercing-695I first saw Eric Stearns' work on social media. He posted this crazy cool video of his piercing process and I was mesmerized! My interest in carving and piercing clay has never been high, but after watching Eric work, I knew I needed to try this. His piercing technique piqued my interest and inspired me to give it a go! In today's post, an excerpt from the latest issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Eric shares how he meticulously designs, carves, and pierces his forms. Enjoy! – Ash Neukamm, guest editor.

P.S. For more information on Eric Stearns’ process, check out the entire article in the Pottery Making Illustrated

by Eric Stearns

Pushing the limits of clay, both in the form as well as the finish, inspires me to create; raku firing tests the limits of those extreme forms. I purposefully make every piece as delicate and fragile as possible while celebrating the robust bonds that are inherent in each molecule of clay. Influenced by the patterns and styles of Acoma pottery, I explore the positive and negative spaces within the design and the clay itself, then build depth with the glazes. Precise application of geometric principles is exhibited in each step.

This post was excerpted from an article in the .

Controlled Piercing

While I work, I consider how the line of piercings will flow from the interior bowl to the rim as well as how light and shadow will look going through the cutouts like a kaleidoscope. Each individual pierced space becomes part of a larger network of piercings to create new shapes throughout the sculptural piece. Using a needle tool, lightly create an outline of the design on the grid (1).

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