- Old friends are best. John Selden
Make a Coiled Clay Pots
Five steps how to do.
Step 1: Once the clay is warm and pliable, take a fist-sized clump and roll it into a long rope called a coil. The diameter of the coil will determine the thickness of your pot's walls. For your first pots, roll your coils out till they’re a little thicker than a pencil, and about 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) long, and of uniform thickness.
You may get thin or weak spots as you roll your coil out. Try avoiding that section as you work, but if it becomes a problem just break the coil at the weak spot, set one part aside, and finish the other.
Step 2: Create the bottom. Starting from one end, wrap the coil in a spiral until the bottom is the size you have in mind. For example, for a pot using coils about 1/4 inch (.6 cm), your base might be 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter.
You can also create the bottom by rolling out some clay to about the same thickness as your coils, and then trim the excess with a knife, using cup or plate as your guide.
Step 3: Prep the clay and start working. Score the outer 1/4 (.6 cm) inch of the bottom, and dampen with water or slurry (a thin mix of clay and water). Do the same with the bottom of the coils as you work. This will improve the clay bond and make your pot stronger.
Lay the first coil on top of the base, and wrap it around, building up the wall.
Step 4: Strengthen your pot. To make your work durable, strengthen the clay bond by smoothing down the inside of the pot, forcing down the clay from the upper coil into the joint below it.
To maintain the shape of your pot, support the outside of the pot as you smooth the inside.
You can smooth both inside and outside if you wish.
Step 5: Shape your pot as you make it. Create your contours by adjusting the placement of the coils, and shaping the clay during the smoothing and strengthening process.