Clay extruders are handy tools for the ceramics studio and can be used to make some amazing work – and … 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!
If you’ve ever had problems with appendages cracking off of handbuilt sculptures, today’s video might just help you solve that … Read More
For the Birds: How Deborah Schwartzkopf Uses the Pottery Wheel Combined with Slabs and Molds to Create Her Avian Inspired Forms
Birds are a great starting place to study form. They’re full of life, vary greatly in shape, and have distinctive … Read More
We recently got a clay extruder at the studio where I work. I had never really used an extruder and, … Read More
Handbuilding Video: Sandi Pierantozzi Demonstrates How to Use a Template to Make a Textured Soft-Slab-Built Bowl with a Wrapped Rim
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Potters Council Handbuilding workshop in Atlanta, Georgia. As usual, … Read More
A few weeks ago, I posted a clip from Joyce Michaud’s new DVD Hand Thrown: East Asian Wedged Coil Technique. … Read More
If you like color and pattern in your work, but are also a fan of the beauty of clay in … Read More
Making my own planters has been something that I have had on my to-do list for oh so many years, … Read More
A couple of months ago, we discovered that Olympia, Washington, potter Sequoia Miller started a new blog called “ever wonder … Read More
Judging from the comments from last Friday’s post, I’d say many of you found Zhou Gui Zhen’s teapot making video … Read More