Pottery Video of the Week: Working With Slabs – A Ceramic Arts Daily Reader Shares Tips and Techniques for Slab Built Pottery

Patricia Bridges trues up the walls on a slab built box.

Patricia Bridges trues up the walls on a slab built box.

After working primarily on the wheel for years, I have been super excited about slab building lately. So I thought I would share a slab building video submitted by a Ceramic Arts Daily  reader. 


In the video, Patricia Bridges of Bridges Pottery in Port Washington, New York, takes us through a couple of slab projects using textured and stenciled slabs. Not only are the projects simple and fun, but Patricia shares a couple of great tool ideas. Thanks Patricia! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



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To learn more about Patricia Bridges or see images of her work, please visit www.bridgespottery.com.

Sandi Pierantozzi shows how these two words can help you
take your work in new directions in her two-disc DVD
What if? Explorations with Texture and Soft Slabs.

What direction will your work take?
Order your copy and find out!



  • Martha H.

    I agree some artist can’t pay for the video’s so go to u-tube.

  • helen s.

    From weher I can buy that wooden pattern stamp you used it?

  • Patricia S.

    Why are the videos no longer available? Is it just me?

  • Thank you so much for your tips!
    leah from israel:)

  • Patrcia B.

    Bridges Here; Thank you all for your comments. I am thrilled to have been helpful to fellow potters. I love to share what I know and am working on another video to share shortly! Thanks for your support.Patricia@bridgespottery

  • After I had seen your video last week, I bought a piece of gridded canvas and tacked it to a 30″ x 30″ plywood board and made the ruler held by two erasers. They work perfectly !!! I wish I had seen this earlier. Thank you so much for sharing your video. I will follow your blog to pick up more tips.

  • Thanks so much for a great video! Most of the questions I had were answered in this comments section. Love the gridded canvas, I can see how one could make one easily enough with plain canvas and a fabric marker if you didn’t want to buy one, and the ruler held up by erasers is genius. Thank you for showing the finished pieces, I always appreciate that.

  • Carla N.

    Thank you Patricia for your inspiring video. I am always trying to get the patterns from antique pictureframes onto my pots. Your textured roller with the beautiful designs carved into it really inspired me. Did you make this tool, and do you have any suggestions on how I can begin such a task? I have tried using clay to create a reverse impression from a picture frame, and have not yet been successful. Loved your demo.

  • sou de lisboa e estou apaixonadapela cerâmica,trabalho com pessoas com algumas dificiencias gostaria de receber mais videos abraços lallu

  • Patrcia B.

    @ RITA – from BRIDGES…..Eu comprei o rolo usado em uma venda. Ele veio a mim de segunda mão.

  • adorei oseu trabalho,onde poderei comprar esses rolos com imagens?

  • Very well done video, I enjoyed it and the tips I picked up. Thank you.

  • Great video, full of insightful tips! I have made similar discoveries in my own work. Keeping all sections of a piece to the same cross-section goes a long way toward preventing warping and distortion.

    I made an assembly tool that has a small brush for slip at one end, and the scratching tool at the other. It makes it easy to put sections together and keeps the work area from getting cluttered.

  • Marguerite S.

    This is the first video I’ve seen that I’m not totally intimidated by. Thank you so much. I want to see your website.

  • Subscriber T.

    great demo. it was very enjoyable, educational and well done. Hope to see more.

  • Patrcia B.

    @MARY – Bridges Here – Carefully cut sheetrock in small sizes when handled right is fine. As it does deteriorate I dump it. It’s the best surface for drying and there are probably millions of miles of the stuff from all the construction job dumpsters you can see. Plaster and Clay don’t mix but I have never had an issue with well cut boards. Some people tape it -I don’t.

  • Subscriber T.

    Excellent instructional video. I see you use sheetrock-are the plaster sides sealed? I thought we weren’t supposed to have plaster anywhere around clay.

  • Patrcia B.

    @H – Bridges Here – regarding cleaning up of Burs on Bisque. You canget these sticks from any ceramic supply house. http://aardvarkclay.com/catalog_pages/abrasives.html They are called rubbing stones. Be careful not to over use them as the dust is not healthy as you can imagine. A quick hit is fine.

  • Holly T.

    I’m an educator and am looking forward to using your tips in the classroom/studio. What is it you used to clean up the burs and smooth your corners after the piece was fired?

    Thank you for all your valuable information.

  • Francine P.

    Thank you Patricia for answering my question, I watched your video on honeycomb bowls and it is priceless…something to try soon, merci 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing a wonderful tips…….

  • Claudio L.

    Great demo, clear,concise,and very professional while at the same time relaxed and informal. I’ve built a sagger box here in Japan pretty much the same way but Patricia gave us some ideas even seasoned pro’s. could put to good use, good on you!

  • Claudio L.

    Great demo, clear,concise,and very professional while at the same time relaxed and informal. I’ve built a sagger box here in Japan pretty much the same way but Patricia gave us some ideas even seasoned pro’s. could put to good use, good on you!

  • I enjoyed your video, and love the tips… the squeeze bottle- handy, the grid canvas- unique, using tiles to avoid distortion when applying pressure- !
    I’m inspired, thank you.

  • Subscriber T.

    Gracias desde Argentina! Fantástico. Original. Creativo!

  • Diane K.

    Video is very well done, with great close up views. Gives slab-building endless possibilities. Thanks.

  • Brenda B.

    Thanks for the video. I like your website and the blog about marketing…looking forward to reading more of your blog in days to come.

  • Patricia P.

    Helpful video, Patricia. I’ve done some slab buidling with the longer sides warping. In watching you construct the pieces, I can see why. Thanks for the helpful video and I very much like the gridded canvas, too. Terrific ideas to help me do more slab built pieces.

  • Great video. Sometimes I think that because I don’t have “all the right equipment,” I can’t do anything. This and a coil-built show I saw today makes my hands want to dive into clay again. Thanks

  • Sharon W.

    Great idea to use the gridded canvas. I covered a board with old blankets and a similar grid canvas to use as a cutting/pressing board in my sewing room. Bought the canvas from a fabric store some time during the 70’s. I put my slip in a ZipLock plastic bag and cut off one corner big enough to squeeze out the slip. Clean application & can throw away the bag when finished.

  • Patrcia B.

    Just to answer a few questions……I do mitre my corners on some projects – I just chose not to for this one – The rolling pin came to me second hand and has embossed lots of my signature pieces – Honeycomb bowls are thrown as one bowl – there is a short video demo of how to make them on my Blog under Videos – Thanks for all of your comments – keep them coming!

  • Nancy P.

    thank you for sharing this video…how opportune for me, just last night I was purusing the web trying to find some techniques for building boxes with slabs. great idea to use a bottle for the slip, cleaner and no brush to clean up afterward.

  • Francine P.

    Thanks for a great video, I love the squeeze bottle idea for slurry, Patricia I was just on your website and was admiring your honeycomb bowls, I’ve never seen these, are they 2 bowls made inside one another? They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

  • Christine B.

    I am an art educator and have helped students with slab boxes for years. Thank you for some exciting new hints that will help them have greater success with more professional results. I loved the simple hint of having slip in a squeeze bottle. I wish I had thought of this or seen it years ago!

  • Deborah E.

    Great video. I wonder why you didn’t miter the corners to have an uninterrupted pattern, though.
    It would have also been helpful to explain why one’s measurements may be “off” if the box is constructed this way versus with mitered corners.

  • Christine P.

    Thank you so much for this demo!
    I’ve seen this sort of gridded canvas used by people doing quilting. Is it similar to that? And doesn’t the needle tool or knife cut up the canvas? Just wondering how you deal with that.
    Lovely work.

  • Susan P.

    Patricia, thank you for this! You’ve shared some wonderful tips and it’s inspiring to see how you work carefully, and freely on the clay! Love it! I look forward to trying the stenciling! Nice glaze treatment! It truly enhances the work! LOVE it!

  • Cheryl H.

    Thanks for the simple and easy to understand video. It has been 10 years since I have done slab building and I think I have a good place to start.

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