Nichos are Latin American folk art objects traditionally used to honor a patron saint or deceased loved one. Often they … Read More
Handbuilding is an ancient pottery-making technique that involves creating forms without a pottery wheel, using the hands, fingers, and simple tools. The most common handbuilding techniques are pinch pottery, coil building, and slab building.
To make a pinch pot, one inserts a thumb into a ball of clay and continually pinches the the clay between the thumb and fingers while rotating to thin out and raise the height of the vessel. Pinching can deliver a pleasingly organic look, but can also yield beautiful, refined results.
Coil building is a forming method that uses ropelike coils of plastic clay, assembled in successive courses to build up wall of vessel or sculpture.
The slab technique starts with smooth slabs of clay that are then formed around molds or shaped by hand. Although it can be used to create many of the same shapes that are achievable on a wheel, slab building also allows the potter to create more angular shapes that are more challenging to make on a wheel.
All handbuilding techniques can be used on one piece, such as using a slab to form the sides of a vessel, and then using coils and pinching to create an interesting rim or handles. Handbuilding techniques can also be used to alter and enhance a form thrown on a wheel.
Handbuilding techniques allow for a wide range of creativity. Here, we’ll share with you some of the most inventive handbuilt work out there and give step-by-step instruction from the artists making it. Peruse through our archive of articles and videos on handbuilding techniques, whether you want to brush up on a process or start off in a new direction. And, if you haven’t already, be sure download your free copy of our Five Great Handbuilding Techniques: How to Make Pottery Using the Pinch, Coil and Slab Methods for some handbuilding project ideas!
Pinch pots are the first introduction into working with clay for many people because they are probably the most accessible … Read More
Pottery Video of the Week: Working With Slabs – A Ceramic Arts Daily Reader Shares Tips and Techniques for Slab Built Pottery
After working primarily on the wheel for years, I have been super excited about slab building lately. So I … Read More
Pinch pots are the introductory project for many just starting out in clay. But pinch pots can be far from … Read More
Ah, clay slabs. Wonderful things, clay slabs. I have been really thinking a lot about doing more with slabs in … Read More
Today’s video comes to us from Ceramic Arts Daily reader Charan Sachar. I admire Charan’s ability to make handbuilt forms … Read More
There are many ways to make goblets or chalices out of clay, but I especially loved the simplicity of a … Read More
Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, and Paul Donnelly’s tea trays are a prime example of … Read More
There are many, many ways to put lines onto pots – carving, fluting, painting, drawing – but, I have to … Read More
Clay extruders are handy tools for the ceramics studio and can be used to make some amazing work – and … Read More