Patz Fowle’s innovative techniques and significant contributions to the ceramic arts are documented in arts publications and recognized by the Potters Council of the American Ceramic Society. Developed by Fowle in 1970, the Patz Process Ceramic Technique is a handbuilding method for connecting organic forms together to create ceramic sculpture. Unlike the "score and slip" method used to connect flat surfaces (or slabs) of clay, Fowle's straightforward, deep-anchoring, technique is an excellent method for connecting organic forms together utilizing inverted cone openings, slip and tapered tips for strong, secure bonds.

Below are a few Patz Process Ceramic Technique, highlights

Making slip

Tapered tip


the seams

Patz Process Ceramic Technique

To add appendages like a head or legs to a clay form, rub a drop or two of water around the outside of inverted cone openings to create slip. Rub water onto the clay until the shine goes away! This sticky, matte substance is "slip" or clay glue.

Make a cylinder with a tapered tip on one end. Add slip to the tip then, with firm pressure, press the tapered tip onto the opening you made in the clay. Once things are attached, smooth over all seams where clay is joined for strength and aesthetic value.

Now, the real fun begins as you add detail, character and expression to your sculpture.

Before drying your work, make sure to create a hole that goes at least 1/2 way into the belly of the animal to allow trapped air and moisture to escape before kiln firing. Enjoy your cool, one-of-a-kind, handbuilt sculpture!

Once considered a groundbreaking approach to handbuilding in clay, the Patz Process Ceramic Technique has become part of the rich heritage of American Ceramic Techniques. With a strong focus on advancing Southern Ceramic Arts, Fowle hopes that this exciting art form will continue to inspire creativity in the ceramic arts for many generations to come. 

of the American Ceramic Society