Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi


HALLO, I AM SUSAN I studied drawing and painting in England, married a Catalan doctor, I have two sons, four grandchildren and live and work in Barcelona where I have a studio-shop and decorate tiles by hand using the Majolica Method.

We are redoing our web, it is in English, Catalan and Spanish it is nearly finished it is still missing small parts but you can see all our designs and get in touch with us. We have 230 tile designs, the smallest is 1 tile and biggest is 72.

This is our web: www.ceramicsbensu.es/en

We also make PRIVATE ORDERS; we can put what you want on to tiles, names, numbers and pictures.
This is the section in our Web: www.ceramicsbensu.es/en contact

I opened a ceramic shop at the Costa Brava and I realized there was a large demand for names of houses, numbers and picture on tiles.

A client wanted a large design on tiles for the front of his restaurant, 45 cm high and 6 meters long and painted with the Majolica Method. This is how I met Benito Arroyo who helped me with it.. He had worked all his life in ceramics using this method, and when he retired we started a business together.

This is a link to the first part of the dictionary on how to work with the Majolica Method; all the sections are joined according to the order of working. Here is the first: Bisque-1-clay-after-first-firing.

Benito was a talking encyclopedia on ceramics and I took notes by hand on everything. Then the great change came, I got my first computer and all the information went into it in an alphabetical order.

I wrote a book on how to work with the Majolica Method, it was in English and in two sections; the first one explained how to work and the second was a glossary on different subjects and the tools used. I could not find a publisher so I put it into my web and this was the first stage of the dictionary.

As I live in Barcelona I put it in Spanish and Catalan, removed it from my web and started my Ceramic Dictionary, which has become an encyclopedia as it explains methods of working, has as many illustrations as possible as they are an international language.

The great improvement came when Núria Pié started to help me, she corrected my Spanish and Catalan and together we added many missing subjects. I have taken many photos in her studio where she works and gives classes.

Here is her web: nuriapie.com.

The section “Alta-Phone” of her web shows a new, elegant, popular product she has designed and made. It is to hold a mobile telephone and it amplifies the sound of the music and radio. It is a ceramic product, with the same basic shape, made in different sizes and decorated with different patterns,. In her web she has a video showing how she formed it by hand on the wheel.
Here are two sections from the dictionary that were made in her studio: Coiling (4) With a slab roller and Cylinders-throwing in pottery

In the section on Cylinders-throwing all the photos have been taken out of a video I made on her working. It is the best method to make photos when there is a lot of movement as it records every second and you can select the best.

I am rewriting my book and it will be published this year 2015. If you are interested, send me an email saying “Interest in you book on the Majolica Method” and when it’s published I will send you all the information on it.

Remember; a dictionary is never finished, there is always something to be added. or corrected. If you see any mistakes or realize something is missing, please send an email and tell us. This is our email info@ceramicdictionary.com and to send one directly go to CONTACT


The following is a list of some of the sections that need to be improved; The first two are not even in the dictionary and the last four are missing good explanations and photos. What is red is a link to their section in the dictionary so you can see what is needed straightway.

1) Direct printing – Screen printing onto glazed or tiles bisque fired.
2) Indirect printing – For cylindrical pottery.
3) Spray glazing –Pictures on to tiles. Spraying-Glaze
4) Lustre – The whole process. Lustre and Luster-clorors
5) Jolleying. Jiggering and Jollying
6) Wax Resist Wax-resist

If you want to write for our Dictionary on a method or process of working or how to use a tool or instrument, please get in touch with us to discuss what you want to add or improve.

Susan and Núria


1) On the top right-hand side of the page, you can select the language most comfortable for you. Ceramicdiccionary is written in English (en) Spanish (es) Catalan (ca).

2) On the top left-hand side you can initiate a word search. For example, write: Raku and click on the Search option, this will take you directly to it in the dictionary.

3) At the top in the center are the letters in alphabetical order. When you know what you want, select the language and go to the letter. If in doubt, go to the Search box. If what you are looking for is not in the dictionary, you can send us an email with a brief description of it. We will do our utmost to find an answer.

4) When you click on to a title more photos can be seen, click on one and it will enlarge and you will also find a short, written paragraph about the illustration.

5) If you ever want to correct or copy something, block and copy into your computer what you need. Change, add and mark what you think is incorrect and send it to us.

6) Ceramicdiccionary is intended to be a dictionary open to all ceramists who want to share their experience, research or knowledge. Therefore if a potter wants to write about something that is not written in the dictionary, if accepted, we will publish it, citing the source of information, Web, etc.

7) To send a written part for publication, it must be in Word format, with a maximum length of two pages D4. We will also need photos of the process of working and the work when finished. The pictures should come with a text that is brief and classified in order a) b) c) etc. The digital photos and the illustrations must be clear and clean. In our web the maximum size of the photos is 680 pixels wide 460 pixels high. Remember you can make a photo with many pixels smaller but not a small one bigger! We will correct your photos to fit into our web.

8) If you want to copy illustrations or written parts for private use there is no problem but if they are for publication please acknowledge in your article that the items are from Ceramicdictionary and tell us about it. If they can be linked to our web even better.

9) I hope one day to have a page in the web where we can answer your letters, but until then, please be patient, we have a lot of work.

10) Illustrations are often a problem for people who want to give us an article. Photos can be taken from a video. So when you write and article and have a video on the subject, if it is in YouTube send us the code and if you have some for your own use, send them to us and we can take photos from them. How to take photos from videos is explain in the dictionary, Click here to see it Video cutting

11) Here is a list of things we are missing, f – j are new, write and article or just a short explanation.

a) Sigillata
b) Paper Clay.
c) Neriage.
d) Homemade tools.
e) Glue of two colors
f) A photo of a kiln when clay has been over fired and spreads.
g) Making and using a kiln for wood firing.
h) Putting transfers on round or curved objects.
i) List of glaze and slip colors with photos.
j) Trailing.