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Published Jan 31, 2020

Jan McKeachie-Johnston’s folded vase form is her translation of a Native American birch bark basket into clay. To make it, she uses one clay slab and a template she developed through experimentation.

In today’s video clip, an excerpt from her video In the Studio with Randy Johnston and Jan McKeachie-Johnston, Jan demonstrates how to make this interesting form, as well as how to give it more life by stretching volume into it. - Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor


This clip was excerpted from In the Studio with Randy Johnston and Jan McKeachie-Johnston, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

To learn more about Jan McKeachie-Johnston and Randy Johnston or to see more images of their work, please visit

Want more vase-making tips? Check out these two posts:

Great Instructions for Making Narrow-Necked Bottles on the Wheel

folded vaseMaking clay vases or bottles on the pottery wheel is something every potter should learn and if you have ever struggled with the task, today’s post will definitely help.

In this clip from her video Fundamentals of Wheel Throwing, Jennifer Allen explains how to make a vase in clear and easy-to-understand directions. If you’ve never attempted making pottery vases, it will give you the information you need. If you’ve made vases before, but would like to improve them, Jennifer’s teaching will surely help. 

Textured Ceramic Templates Do Double Duty in this Great Slab Clay Project

folded vaseMany potters use paper templates for ceramics so they can make a form consistently over and over. Nancy Zoller came up with a great idea that combines the texturing step with the templating step in her slab-construction process. She made ceramic templates in the size and shape of each wall of a slab built vase with the texture already on them.

In this post, Nancy demonstrates how her ceramic templates do double duty serving as a texture tool and a sizing tool in a great slab clay project. Smart!

**First published in 2016.