Eric Landon, known as Tortus on Instagram, makes beautiful pieces of pottery in his own studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. He discovered his love for pottery by accident when he took an art elective class in high school at the age of 16. “I tried a couple different manual building techniques: rolling, slab building, I didn’t really fall in love with the material until I threw it on a wheel,” Eric said. He goes on and says that the whole pottery-making process is magnificent and dynamic.
After seeing it during the pottery making process, we definitely agree! There is something simply fascinating and relaxing about watching someone create pottery 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 if I take a pot that I already made and combine it with another, or a surface that I never made and combine it with a shape that I never combined it with, and do it. “
He says his pieces are simply sketches based on ideas that come to mind. This creative process allows you to build on old ideas and create something completely different. “One of the beautiful things about working with clay on the wheel is that it constantly surprises me with new possibilities. So I’m motivated simply by the fact that I’m curious to see where these roads lead, ”says Eric.
According to him, taking it from an idea in your head and realizing it immediately at the wheel doesn’t happen easily. He says that most people probably think that pottery looks simple when see it on social media. Of course, the people who create pottery make it look easy due to 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 making pottery in the first place – it’s hard, it’s not easy,” Eric said. You cannot take shortcuts to a high skill level, and like anything else, there is no fast track to proficiency. However, after years of dedication and experience, Eric proves that anyone can be successful with a passion for it. Perseverance, hard work, and discipline can take you far in life no matter what field you are in.
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 it takes to create these masterpieces. Eric’s advice for anyone looking to start pottery is to find a good course and instructor. Start with the basics of pottery and learning the techniques, and then 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, appropriately called The Tortus School. There, he offers professional ceramic instruction and various membership options. If you are interested in learning pottery and live in the area, be sure to check out his professional Instagram. here.
He also sells his own collection of beautiful handmade pottery. You can check the different designs and sizes in your website.
How is ceramics made?
There are various methods of making pottery, but most potters today use an electric wheel. A pottery wheel is basically a rotary round table where the clay is placed to mold it. A splash tray rotates around the wheel to collect water and clay as it spins. There are several sizes available, depending on the type of pots you want to make.
Professionals can be quite expensive, but you can find less expensive ones if you want to practice. Many of them come with attached seats, so you know if you’re sitting at the correct level. Ceramic 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 porcelain kilns.
Electric ceramic wheels generally come with pedals, which make the wheel move at a certain speed depending on the pressure you put on it. As the wheel moves, the potter molds the clay with his hands into the shape he wants to create. The wheel will continue to turn as long as you press the pedal. The potter speeds up or slows down at certain points to create various shapes and indentations in the pieces.
As the potter centers the clay, he will have to turn the wheel rather slowly. However, if you want to make the piece taller, speed up the wheel. During all of this, you should also sponge or wet the clay to keep it moist and durable. The potter may even be using certain tools to cut decorative lines on the piece, which is what the backsplash is for.
As you can see the process is very complex and difficult, it is not at all what you see in the videos! Now you know where all the bowls and pots you see in stores come from and how they are made. We have to say that we appreciate the art of making pottery more after watching Eric make them and learning about the process!