How to Make a Slab Cup Template Out of a Paper Cup

Dissecting a found form to come up with patterns for handbuilding cups!

slab cup template

If you love slab building, but have trouble figuring out how to turn a flat slab into a volumetric form, today’s video clip from Liz Zlot Summerfield might help solve the mystery. Many artists use found objects to make molds or templates (think craft foam templates and paper plate molds). But what happens when you deconstruct the found object, in this case, a paper cup? You end up with a small slab cup template! 

In this clip, an excerpt from her DVD Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs, Liz shows how to take a simple paper cup and turn it into a slab cup template for a handbuilt juice cup. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing in the studio this weekend! – Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.

Five Great Handbuilding Techniques and Tools

Pick up variations on classic handbuilding techniques when you download this freebieFive Great Handbuilding Techniques and Tools.


slab cup templateThis clip was excerpted from Handbuilt Forms with Soft Slabs, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Network Shop! To learn more about Liz Zlot Summerfield or to see more images of her work, please visit

Slab Cup Templates and Beyond!

Want to see more from Liz? In this post, Liz shares how to handbuild a simple darted cup with a foot out of soft clay slabs that I absolutely love (and which I jokingly refer to as “the foot that changed my life.”).

Need a good solution for making consistent slabs? Slab rollers are wonderful for making clay slabs of even thickness, but not everyone has the space or the money for this piece of equipment so a lot of folks think about making a DIY slab roller for their studios. In this post, Jan McKeachie-Johnston has a solution that not only makes slabs of even thickness, but also gets them done quickly and nearly effortlessly. Best of all this portable DIY slab roller is easy and inexpensive to make!

**First published in 2014.
  • I like the demo, the info it conveys, but the goofy music and subtitles is not better than the artist narrating what she is doing.

  • Marianne H.

    Like your tutorial very much. I’m also intrigued by the music that is played. Do you know what it is called or by whom it is played? Thank you.



    By clicking on : For more cool handbuilding techniques, download your free copy of Three Great Handbuilding Techniques: How to Make Pots Using the Pinch, Coil and Slab Methods!
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