How to Make a Clay Jar in One Piece on the Pottery Wheel

This clip was excerpted from Making & Decorating a Tea Set, which is available in the Ceramic Arts Daily Shop!


Learn to make a wheel thrown jar in one piece!

Learning how to make a clay jar is an exciting process for the ceramic artist. There are many different ways to go about making jars, from the classic wheel thrown lid to hand building a hexagonal jar from a template.

In today’s video clip, and excerpt from her new video Making & Decorating a Tea Set, Amelia Stamps shares how to make a clay jar in one piece on the potters wheel with the help of a clothes pin. It’s a great technique because it saves time and creates a snug-fitting lid. Not only does Amelia show how to make the jar, she also shares a great tip for preventing cracks in a vulnerable spot on the piece. –Jennifer Poellot Harnetty, editor.



To learn more about Amelia Stamps or to see more images of her work, please visit



  • I have made many small jars using this technique. One difference I decided for my jars is to design the inset slot for the gallery so that the cut is made at the bottom of the slot, not the top. That way the flange is attached to the lid and everything will be trimmed so that the flange fits down into the top of the jar, rather than as shown here with the flange being part of the jar and fitting up into the inside of the lid. My reason for this, based on a sad incident in my own experience, is that the lid part is more likely to be dropped when taking it off. If the dropped lid strikes a hard surface and chips the edge, it will be on the flange that is hidden when the jar is closed. If the flange were on the jar, the edge of the lid will chip and that will be plainly visible forever.

  • This technique was first shown in ceramics monthly January 1980. It’s the Dartington Technique. I have had the step by step drawings hanging in my classroom for 20 years. They call it a one piece lidded container. I learned it from Bruce Tomkinson at Santa Monica College in the late 80’s.

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