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Published May 17, 2022

pounding stoneComing up with your own unique pottery forms is easier when you have the right clay tools for the job at hand. One of the ways that Jerilyn Virden comes up with new shapes is to start with a block of clay, and then shape it into what she wants with a handmade pottery tool she calls a pounding stone (this brilliant clay tool has other uses too!).

In today’s quick time-lapsed excerpt from her video Part Sculpture - Part Function: Handbuilding Graceful Minimalist Forms, Jerilyn shows us how easy it is to make this super smart tool. –Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor

PS. Pick up  a copy of Part Sculpture - Part Function: Handbuilding Graceful Minimalist Forms to see the full, narrated version of this project!


This clip was excerpted from Part Sculpture - Part Function: Handbuilding Graceful Minimalist Forms, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

To learn more about Jerilyn Virden or to see more images of her work, please visit

More from Jerilyn Virden

Double Walled Sculpture Process

Jerilyn’s forms were inspired by dough bowls and grinding stones that she came across while working on her MFA at Southern Methodist University. She was taken in by these large, rough objects that had acquired their curved interiors as a result of repetitive use. She decided to explore this form in her ceramic work, but it took a lot of exploration before she landed on the method that allowed her to make forms that had the grace of the dough bowls and grinding stones that inspired her. In this post, Jerilyn explains how she uses double-walled construction to create the beautiful forms shown here. She also shares her firing schedule.

How to Make a Vase that is Like Sculpture for the Table Top

Jerilyn makes sculpture and functional pottery, but there is some crossover between the two. Many of her functional pieces could hold their own as sculpture, but are also perfectly capable of performing the function of holding or containing something. In this post, she shows how she makes what she calls a puzzle vase. Sure, you could make a regular old vase, but this vase becomes an interactive conversation piece that is truly an example of functional art.

**First published in 2016.