How To Make Jonathan Adler-Inspired Pottery

How To Make Jonathan Adler-Inspired Pottery

Trent Johnson
Feb 17, 2010

If you're short on money for real Adler pottery but are feeling crafty, you can make your own! Check out this guide, originally spotted at PSImadethis, on turning old vases and recycled bottles and cans into imitation pottery.

The original guide I followed can be found at PSIMadeThis, but here are the steps below:

What You Need

  • Jars, cans, bottles, vases or any other leftover objects you want to "Adlerize"
  • Puffy paint - I actually used 3d fabric paint which worked fine, though I would recommend using white.
  • A light colored pen
  • Spray paint, low VOC ideally, and matte in color.


1. Decide on a Pattern
Begin by decide on a pattern for your jars. Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes or a grid made of small dots. See Adler's gourd relief for inspiration.

2. Mark Out Some Guides
For this I used a dark marker for illustration purposes. I would recommend using something light in color and thin so the spray paint will cover it well. For circular objects, you can hold the pen at one height and rotate the vessel for a cleaner circle. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect!

3. Apply the Dots
This takes some practice. Using the guides, apply small dots of paint to the surface. Be conservative at first until you get the hang of it. You can always come back later to make them bigger. The fabric paint I used seemed to "Self level" in that it turned from being rather pointy, to having a nice round texture.

4. Let Dry and Reapply
Let dry until you're confident the dots are no longer movable and reapply if necessary (if you want larger dots, etc).

5. Spray Paint
Unfortunately, I couldn't find low-VOC spray paint at my local hardware store but I know it's out there (See Best Eco Paints 2009: No-VOC and Non-Toxic). Again, be conservative with your paint application so you don't develop any runs. Let dry between coats (no sanding necessary) until you have a uniform and solid surface. Enjoy!

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(Images: First image via PSIMadeThis. All other images by Trent Johnson)

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