Handle Making Video: How to Make Custom Cane Handles for Teapots

Most pottery supply stores carry a selection of cane handles for teapots. Those can be lovely, but, of course, these store-bought handles are not one of a kind. If you want to go completely one of a kind, you can make your own cane handles using binding cane and reed (available at craft stores). Sheila Clennell of Sour Cherry Pottery is an expert this subject and, a while back, we shared her primer on working with cane.

In today’s video clip, Sheila demonstrates a more complicated cane handle project: how to make what she calls her “Front Spray” style handle for a teapot. Have a look and then think about tweaks you can make to make it your own. The possibilities are endless! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.




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This clip was excerpted from How to Make Handmade Cane Handles
with Sheila Clennell, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!
Take your handles in a new direction today!


Sheila Clennell operates Sour Cherry Pottery with her husband Tony Clennell.
Check out their website here!

  • Decent blog..thanks for sharing. If you ever need teak refinishing, be sure to visit Teak & Deck Professionals…these guys did me right. I usually get ripped off when hunting for a Carlsbad teak furniture restoration shop to work on my home furnitures.

  • Denise M.

    Very instructive. I’ve never been very interested in cane handles but this video has inspired me re the creative possibilities. Thanks. Perhaps other plant materials could be used…for example, my mum makes xmas wreaths out of the grape vine in her garden…would have to investigate strength and durability though.

  • Kathleen R.

    Dorothy, don’t wash it in the dishwasher. When you are handwashing it, don’t wash the handle…. rinse the pot, dry it, and set aside. Any residual moisture on the handle will air dry. Reeds can handle a little moisture with little or no impact on the integrity of the handle. After all, they were exposed to the environment/weather before they became a handle. A great teapot develops character over time, taking on the patina of the use it undergoes.

  • Dorothy F.

    I like the look very much. The reason I’ve never attempted to do one, though, is that these hand-made handles don’t offer any way to wash the pot without possibly destroying the handle. You put one of these things on and you certainly can’t use a dishwasher, and even hand washing will probably cause the handle to get wet and deteriorate over time. Does the video offer instruction on removable handles?

  • Susan H.

    This was a well done video, very clear and understandable both in technique and dialog. I feel confident I have sufficient knowledge to undertake a reed handle, although a lot of practice will be needed to “get it right”. By the way, that was a very lovely tea pot, I’d like to see more of Ms Clennell’s work. Thanks.

  • Karen F.

    I’ve tried to locate a vendor for cane in the New York City area with no luck; can you recommend a source?

  • Paul b.

    Does anyone know what size reed and cane?

  • Kathleen R.

    Beautifully crafted video. Thank you!

  • Simone M.

    Video muito bem feito e esclarecedor. Mesmo assim tenho a inpressão de que deve ser bastante difícil fazer ( muito mais do que parece).Gostaria de salvar este vídeo para consultar mais tarde.
    Parabéns pela habilidade e obrigado por repartir este conhecimento.

  • Joan P.

    Did you soak the reeds in water before you began?

  • Suzi C.

    Verbal instructions did not get ahead of video. Many possibilities here.

  • I needed this. Thanks.
    Also, a nice pot! It goes well with this handle – probably other way around :). The narrative is clear and consice. The video well done!

  • Jan D.

    Wow! This is just gorgeous; thank you. Jan

  • Nixon K.

    Can you list resources for reputable reed and cane suppliers? Thanks!

  • Linda M.

    Video was clear, I could count how many times she wrapped the cane around the round came. I don’t think I will have any problem making these, looks easy, but probably must have strong fingers to do this.
    The pot and handle look great, and the handle has about as many possibilities as a pot has

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