This video is a recording of Mark Shapiro's live stream demonstration, originally presented in March, 2021. Purchase includes access to the Tools and Materials PDF, and the live Question and Answer session following the demonstration.

"The cup is perhaps the most basic vessel. Our bodies demand hydration even more than nutrition. This essential deliverer of liquid offers practically infinite ceramic variation and magnificent opportunities for individual expression. Not surprisingly, it’s usually the first pot that potters learn to make and the first pot that attracts a customer." Mark Shapiro

In this video, Mark demonstrates his unique approaches to this essential form, including faceted porcelain and rope-inlayed teacups, footed chalices, and water “glasses", and his signature surface treatments. Mark is not on social media, so this is a rare oppportunity to see his working process.

The original workshop was offered in partnership with Saratoga Clay Arts Center, in conjunction with their exhibition PLAYING WITH FIRE: Altered Atmospheres. The exhibition was curated by Mark Shapiro.

Course Details

In this jam-packed mini workshop, Mark shows a variety of approaches to forming and decorating his signature cups. He demonstrates throwing off-the-hump to make faceted, squared, and textured cups, as well as throwing to-the-mark off the wheel-head to make sets of given sizes. He covers various surface decorating techniques: painting geometric patterns with slip, marking through wax, filling and scraping rope textures, and more.

Altered Shapes

Learn how to throw and square cups, then embellish with geometric painted patterns.


Learn to facet thrown cups and decorate with markings through wax resist.


Learn to impress cups with rope for texture, then enhance the texture with inlaid colored slip.