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, the workshop was loaded with fantastic presenters and I came away with lots of new ideas for the studio. I also had the pleasure of working with a few of the artists to shoot some video to share with Ceramic Arts Daily readers!

Today, I am rolling out the first of those videos featuring the lovely and talented Sandi Peirantozzi. In this clip, Sandi demonstrates a cool soft slab building technique for a bowl with a wrapped rim. She also explains the template system she uses to make her pottery. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.




To learn more about Sandi Pierantozzi or to see more image of her work, please visit http://sandiandneil.com/.

  • Yesheen S.

    Love this video and Sandi’s gift for sharing her knowledge. My first successful “project” as a potter was her three legged cup which I turned into a series of vases. The clarity of Sandi’s instructions gave me the confidence to attempt this outside the classroom scenario and has led me to attempt bolder projects. Many thanks Sandi from a grateful fan in Cape Town, South Africa!

  • Bobbie D.

    I had my first class today. As a new student I feel very fortunate to see this with wide eyes. I can’t wait until next week to try some of these ideas in my next project. The “encouragement” you gave to the clay before wrapping the rim was inspiring.

  • Gosh I need this lesson !! Seeing that template shape certainly was very enlightening as to why I have problems and wrapping the rim after coaxing the clay – brilliant… thanks so much I so needed this lesson ! Great job !

  • Just love this technique Sandi! And using the clay coil as unit of measure quite briiliant. Excellent video. Thanks so much! :o) xx

  • Pensa E.

    Just got your DVD “what if ” …one question : how not to trap air into hollow handles when applying to the pots ?? might be a silly question but I’m puzzled !

  • Rosemary B.


  • Elaine K.

    Great video, really informative with lots of great little tips. Thanks Sandi for sharing!


  • Grit S.

    Petite reponse à mc33: travaillez avec de l’argile.(consistance presque cuir). Je suis un potier novice, je ne donnerai pas de conseil, mais j’ai essayé et le resultat et très sympa,.
    Merci encore à Sandi pour cette leçon. Thanks again Sandi, looking forward to see your work again and again.

  • Pourquoi ce que je dis est mal ecrit? Je ne comprends pas l’anglais et non pas le commerce

  • c’etait super de voir la vidéo mais je ne comprends pas l’anglais.La matière etais-ce de l’argile-papier ? Je ne pense pas que vous ayez utilise de la barbotine, car je trouvais assez liquide .. je rale de ne pas comprendre l’anglais, je manque les explications. Merci .

  • Gerald H.

    Thank you, Sandi for the information about the “waffle type” texturing tool. I located one at “Toys R Us” .

  • Sandi, I hope you have the desire and time to do more filming. You have so much to share and you are a great teacher.
    Thank you!

  • Sandi P.

    Hello Jean and Michelle from South Africa,
    I have been amazed and delighted at the response to my video. It never really hit me how many people would view it, and that fellow potters from other continents could learn from something I presented! This blows me away. Thank you for your positive comments and I would love to come and work together in South Africa. Let’s keep in touch about it. Sandi

  • Jean B.

    Hi Sandi
    I must be one of the last viewers of your lesson as I have had internet access problems – maybe due to all the World Cup activity. I agree with Michelle’s comment that you would be so welcome in South Africa. I have a teaching studio in a pictaresque country village and this is going to be a great lesson. A very professional first video! We hope to see more.
    Many thanks

  • Ditto – I have been searching for the ‘waffle rolling pin”, without success!
    – Liz

  • Gerald H.

    Sorry I missed your workshop in Atlanta BUT the video was great (quality and presentation) !
    I am interested in the source for the “waffle type” texturing tool. Thanks!

  • Where can I purchase the template?

  • Sandi P.

    For templates I save any cardboard I come across in daily life, old file folders, backings in large envelopes etc. I rarely have to buy template material. If one wears out, it is no big deal to cut out another. If I run out of recycled cardboard I usually just get poster board which is pretty cheap. Sandi Pierantozzi

  • I would like to what material you use for your patterns like the conical one in your video.

    Have you used “Slabmatt” paper for patterns? I have used tar paper, but I don’t like the texture it leaves in the slab from my slab roller. I would think Slabmatt would give me a smooth surface but I don’t know how it would hold up to successive uses.

  • Grit S.

    Bonjour Sandi,
    Since I saw your video Sandi, I tried to make the same. I had same succes. I try to work with clay only since October 2009 and I must tell you, I’m very happy! I’m just a little bit sorry because I did’nt do it before and now I am too ‘old’ to begin a new live . Well, that doesn’t matter . I am happy and I will watch all your videos in the futur. Thanks again, Sandi!
    Bonjour from South of France
    Bises Grit (sorry for my english)

  • Leyla S.

    wonderful! I’ve been waiting for Sandi video for years. Let’s have more!

  • Linda R.

    Wish I could have been at your workshop. I have always admired your work and the process you go through to create it.

  • Denise E.

    I enjoyed you process on video as much as I did in the workshop! Thanks for sharing!

  • Marie B.

    I agree with the other comments, it certainly has been helpful to me in my practice. Thanks so much for sharing this technique. I look forward to seeing more presentations!

  • Marian Y.

    Thanks, Sandi, for your follow-up on the seam questions. I like your philosophy and will adopt it when appropriate. Again, best job on the entire presention. One would never know it was your first.

  • Jim T.

    great information.,
    Never stopped to think of stretch to fit the rim or any other surface. This will help so many of us when coiling,i would think. Strecth those coils before you try to make them go into a circle. Then the clay will know that you want to make a circle and not crack so frequently.
    Mnay thanks…

  • wow! this is all so great! im a beginner by the way….just trying to learn the basics of pottery so that i can get a kick start….not something proffessional or anything…but just enough to know how to channel creativity into the clay! i like trying different things and experimenting…so far i feel that this is my thing!

    about the video….uits great and there are so many ideas in there that could be used to make something totally unique! the tips are also really good….keep up the good work!

  • Jan T.

    Sandi, You nailed the video. I felt like I was back in Atlanta watching your demo in person. Sounds like you might have a new project: “Making Handbuilding Templates.”

    And, Jenn, you nailed it, too. Thanks for taking the time to video several of the presenters. I can’t wait to see the rest of your videos.

  • Roy J.

    Hi Saadi, It is a great video and I learn a lot.

  • Adi T.

    this morning i had time to enter http://sandiandneil.com
    no words can describe the beauty and imagination of yours and Niel’s work. a big WOW.

  • Great..I will try it…and teach others..great method..Thank you..Dziekuje/polish thank you/ Bozena..from South Carolina/SSCL

  • Sandi P.

    In answer to the two questions about how I deal with the visible seam on my bowl, I leave the seam visible. My feeling is, that this seam is surface information about the process. Good craftsmanship is very important to me, and I feel that as long as my seams are clean, they helps the viewer, or the holder of the pot, to see and possibly question the making process. There are times when a pot wants more embellishment, that I will use a decorative coil or other applique on the seam, but this is more of a design decision than a covering up. Thank you all for your positive comments, as this was my very first video and I was a bit nervous! I am so happy it has been well received, and that you all found it helpful. Sandi Pierantozzi

  • Neva P.

    Loved the video! Such great instruction. Go to Sandi’s website for photos of her amazing work!

    Thanks Sandi!

  • Elisabeth M.

    I’ve been away on vacation and couldn’t get the video to open on my iphone. I was about apoplectic until I could get home to open it! Great demo. I love working with soft slabs and was inspired by your treatment of the bowl’s edge. Can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lyndel R.

    Great demo. I do a lot of handbuilding. This was perfect. A great new idea. Thanks, Lyndel

  • Subscriber T.

    Que buena tecnica! Wonderful work!

  • Jane M.

    What a wonderfully complete demo!.. I am definitley going to give this a try. Thanks

  • Ameena A.

    I am a beginner,I am really learning good techniques and Sandi is a great teacher

  • Elizabeth H.

    Fantastic video. Thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful technique. Your presentation was excellent. U Rock!

  • Helen S.

    Sandi Pierantozzi’s video was very good. Would like to see full video. Is it available. Using a template is an excellent idea.
    Hope you can help

  • Grit S.

    Merci pour cette leçon !
    Thank You

  • Susie F.

    Wonderful presentation.
    Yum. Great video and clear communication.
    Very special for those of us who love soft clay !
    Thank you,

  • Sandi this is by far the best video I have seen on this site.
    Your voice and video are very clear. I had the priviledge to watch Sandi in person and she is the queen on hand building. I love her!
    Thank You,

  • Amita B.

    Love this video, very helpful, I now know how to rim my pots better!!
    Thank you for posting it.

  • Thanks very much for a fun technique I can bring to my students. I’m off to try this now!

  • Margaret M.

    Sandi, I’ve had the privilege of seeing you twice (at the Alabama Clay Conference and in Oklahoma City) and you are the best. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Donna S.

    This is a wonderful video.
    Great demo and great job filming.
    Love the technique.
    I am wondering how the seam on the side of the bowl is finished.
    I have had trouble blending in texture s such as the waffle she has used..
    thanks so much for sharing this.

  • Jennifer G.

    My first ever comment. I just loved this method and can’t wait to try it. I live in Sydney, Australia and just love receiving your emails and watching all those different techniques and tips. thank you so much… Jennifer

  • Heidi B.

    Great video! I want to make now! Thanks so much for the tips and inspiration Sandi 🙂

  • Mary G.

    Love, love, love, the video. Thanks!

  • Neal O.

    Great video! I always enjoy watching different techniques. I primarily throw, but I learn a lot by watching handbuilders as well.

  • Tracey P.

    That was sweet!! Can’t wait to do that technique. My students might even be able to do that (8th grade)!! Thanks SO MUCH!

  • Michelle C.

    Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing I enjoyed watching and learning. We would love you to come and do some demos here in South Africa we would LOVE to host you. I Konw we could definitely learn a lot from you. Thank you

  • Linda L.

    Thanks so much for sharing! For a newbie potter like me, this is a technique that I think I can try out at home.

  • Wonderful presentation. Sandi, you are the answer to my pottery frustrations.
    I am already to set up a work area (my space is very limited, so I need to make every bit of space count.)

    I would like to have a book on your template method, as you must certainly have more than one design to follow.

  • Sandi, I just love your work and it is great to see you demonstrating some of your techniques. Inspiring! Love the rim idea!


  • Carole S.

    Taking a measurement with a coil (slapping my forehead, here) is another one of those “why didn’t I think of that!” moments. I will never forget this tip and always remember Sandi for it.

    Great video Sandi & crew! Thank you.

  • Adi T.

    Sandi, your instructions are so well presented. in one short (well filmed) video i learned so many techniques and got great tips. particularly for the rim.
    thank you.

  • Marianne K.

    great video, learned a lot.
    thank you

  • Marian Y.

    This is an excellent video. The picture and sound are both compatible with my computer and Sandi is very articulate and clear in her instructions and presentation. Sandi, do you normally leave the exterior of your bowl’s join line obvious, or is there a way better to blend the line when there is texture in the clay? I’ve tried texturizing vessels, but I don’t like my join lines to be obvious and get frustrated because I can’t make them disappear (just a personal quirk). I often end up attaching some other embellishment or a handle to cover the mismatched seam to some extent, so wonder if you have a better way of blending the texture so that it matches each side. Of course I don’t expect it to be perfect, but just to match better than I usually do.

  • Carolyn L.

    Thanks for this video, I can’t wait to get in the studio and try it. Sandi’s demonstration is great! She described the process very well.

  • Linda W.

    You are a very good teacher Sandi.

  • Thank you, this is a great video, can anyone tell me how big a bowl we can make out of this template and do we cut out about 1/3 of the circle or do it matter? Thank you again,

    Joanne Leclerc

  • Roberta H.

    Thanks for the lesson, Sandi! You gave great step by step directions! I was wondering what is on the surface of the table you were working on?

  • Cris C.

    Uma tecnica muito criativa, gostei muito!!!

  • Martin C.

    You make working with clay so natural, easy and clean.
    Very good presentation, you make me willing to stop everything I am doing and rush to my ceramic studio.
    Thanks everybody.

  • I sure would have liked to view this video BUT I cannot because this & all your videos are not available to us who view this email with our BlackBerries or can’t get high speed internet. I feel cheated! Please fix this.

  • Great video, Jennifer. Some good tips and nicely photographed. You guys and gals are doing a real service to new and old potters. Thanks for sharing!

    Sandy Kinzie

  • Clara E.

    Wow that makes me want to get into my clean studio and mess it up.
    Thanks Ceramic Daily 🙂

    Clara Emma

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