Ergonomics: my decorating easel

Recently an image of my decorating workspace  appeared in the Journal of Australian Ceramics, 48#2, July 2009. This part of the image caused quite a bit of interest at the recent Australian Ceramics Triennale where I demonstrated some of my working methods.  Of interest was my decorating easel.

Johanna DeMaine
My scaled down decorating easel.

During my Churchill Fellowship research on H&S in Overglaze and intensive hand decorating I became aware that ergonomic considerations had to be dealt with.  I was interested in the  various devices that were used in industry but unfortunately not practical for the studio artist.   Not long after,  I developed Tennis Elbow in my left arm from supporting  my work while decorating.  I remembered having seen a decorating easel manufactured by Scotts Creek Pottery advertised in Ceramics Monthly.  I soon realized that these were no longer being made.

Further investigation led me to two conclusions.  The original designs for this decorating easel came from Spanish/Portuguese traditional ceramic practices and that there were detailed photographs/plans available on the internet.  Nan Hamilton generously uploaded the details here.  A friend made me a scaled version from this image.

Nan Hamilton's decorating easel.
Nan Hamilton’s decorating easel.

This post is now filed under Health and Safety and Techniques