Award Winning Artist Crafts Unique Pottery Work

Award Winning Artist Crafts Unique Pottery Work

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Eric Landon, known as Tortus on Instagram, makes beautiful pottery out of his very own studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. He discovered his love for making pottery by accident when he took an art elective in high school at the age of 16. “I tried out a couple of different hand building techniques – coiling, slab building – I really didn’t fall in love with the material until I threw it on a wheel,” Eric said. He continues and says that the whole process of making ceramics is magnificent and dynamic.

After watching him during the process of making pottery, we definitely agree! There’s something just mesmerizing and relaxing about watching someone creating ceramics in this way. It’s also interesting to hear how he comes up with the various shapes and designs for the pots.

Eric’s creative process

“My work process is relatively fast and intuitive. I have an idea based on my curiosity…what happens if I take one vessel I’ve already made and combine it with another one, or a surface I’ve never done and combine it with a shape I’ve never combined it with, and just make it.”

He says his pieces are simply sketches based on ideas that pop into his head. This creative process allows him to build upon old ideas and create something completely different. “One of the beautiful things about working with clay on the wheel is that it’s constantly surprising me with new possibilities. So, I’m motivated simply by the fact that I am just curious to see where these roads lead,” Eric says.

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According to him, taking it from just an idea in his head and realizing it immediately on the wheel doesn’t happen easily. He says most people probably think that pottery looks simple when they happen to see it on social media. Of course, the people creating the pottery make it look easy because of years of experience and dedicated practice. It takes a lot of discipline and drive to create the pottery we see in stores and online.

“It’s one of the reasons I started doing pottery in the first place – it’s difficult, it’s not easy,” Eric said. You can’t cut corners to get to a high skill level, and just like anything else, there’s no fast track to being proficient. After years of dedication and experience, though, Eric proves that anyone can achieve success if they have a passion for it. Perseverance, hard work, and discipline can take you far in life no matter what field you’re in.

 

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Eric on Instagram

When you watch Eric’s videos, he certainly makes it look easy, but looks can be deceiving! Who knew how much work and time goes into creating these masterpieces. Eric’s advice to anyone who wants to get started making pottery is to find a good course and instructor. Start with the basics of making pottery and learning the techniques, and later you can focus on creating beautiful pieces.



Eric is very popular on Instagram, where he has almost a million followers! He even created his own pottery school in Denmark, fittingly called The Tortus School. There, he offers professional pottery instruction and various membership options. If you’re interested in learning pottery and live in the area, make sure to check out his professional Instagram here.

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He also sells his own handmade, beautiful collection of ceramics. You can check out the various designs and sizes on his website.

How is pottery made?

There are various methods for making ceramics, but most potters today use an electric pottery wheel. A pottery wheel is basically a spinning round table where you place the clay to mold it. A splash pan goes around the wheel to catch the water and clay while it spins. There are various sizes available, depending on what kind of pots you want to make.

Professional ones can get pretty expensive, but you can find less costly ones if you want to practice. Many of them come with attached seats, so you know if you’re sitting at the right level. Pottery wheels can make bowls, flower pots, urns, and other types of ceramic pieces. You can also make porcelain pieces on the wheel, but these require special ovens called kilns to bake the porcelain.

Electric pottery wheels usually come with foot pedals, which cause the wheel to move at a certain speed depending on how much pressure you put on it. As the wheel moves, the potter molds the clay with his hands in the shape he wants to create. The wheel will keep turning as long as you put pressure on the foot pedal. The potter speeds up or slows down at certain points to create various shapes and indentations in pieces.

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As the potter centers the clay, he’ll have to turn the wheel fairly slowly. However, if he wants to make the piece taller, he speeds up the wheel. During all this, he also must sponge or wet the clay to keep it moist and durable. The potter may even be using certain tools to cut decorative lines in the piece, which the splash guard is for.

As you can see, the process is very intricate and difficult, not at all what it looks like in the videos! Now you know where all the bowls and flower pots you see in stores come from, and how they’re made. We have to say that we have a greater appreciation for the art of making pottery after watching Eric make them and learning about the process!



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Kristen is a Staff Writer at Power of Positivity. When she's not writing or editing, she enjoys hiking in the great outdoors, making smoothies, eating out at yummy vegan restaurants, and relaxing with a nice big cup of coffee. She just wants to share a slice of happiness with as many people as possible. :)