6 Essential Tips for Coiling Clay to Make Sculpture

Learn about the beauty of coiling clay!

coiling clay

Coiling clay is a great way to make sculpture that is volumetric and curvy. Erin Furimsky is well known for her abstract biomorphic sculptures that call to mind microbes, plant forms, or the human body. Coil construction is Erin’s go-to method when she is building these signature soft and curvy forms.

In today’s post, an excerpt from her video Embracing Abstraction: Coil Built Sculpture, Erin shares 6 excellent tips for getting off to the right start when coiling clay sculpture. Even if you are not a sculptor, most of these tips translate into coiling clay pots too! Have a look! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

PS. Stay tuned for the second part in the Embracing Abstraction series, in which Erin covers slab building more angular abstract sculpture (due out October, 2019!)

Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture

Get a taste of the exciting and diverse range of ceramic sculpture being made today when you download this freebieContemporary Ceramic Sculpture.


Subscribers can instantly watch Erin build an entire coil-built sculpture from start to finish on CLAYflicks! Not a subscriber? You can purchase the download in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop!

The Beauty of Coiling Clay

Coiling clay is an excellent choice not only for sculptors, but for functional potters who want to make uniquely shaped utilitarian pots. In this post from the archives, gwendolyn yoppolo shares two techniques for making ceramic spoons. Interested in going larger? In this post, Karen Terpstra shares her technique for how to make a coil pot using flat coils. And as we all know, with ceramics there is no one way of doing things. What works for one person, may not work for another. So here are some more tips for forming ceramic coils including the brilliant triangle coil technique. Hope you can mix and match these techniques and find the method of coiling clay that works best for you!

Have any other coiling tips to share with the community? Share them in the comments below!

**First published in 2019.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image
Send this to a friend