Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make a Wiggle Wire Mug

In this video, which was filmed at a Potters Council workshop a couple of years ago, Nan Rothwell shows us how to make a super cool wiggle wire mug and put a handle on it. As always, Nan’s demonstration is clear and thorough. It’s almost like being at a workshop in person! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



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To learn more about Nan Rothwell or see more images of her work, please visit www.nanrothwellpottery.com.


  • Nan, thank you very much for sharing!

    I thought, however, that the video was not at the same level as the craftsmanship,to say the least. It seemed the photographer kept falling asleep on the job, not really focusing on the great technique that was demonstrated. Shame.

  • Shawn B.

    Thank-you so much Nan! I love practical and easy lessons like this. And no matter how many handles I do, I always learn something new from a more experienced potter.

  • Annabelle A.

    clear, well paced and such a pleasant voice…and clean direct process, thanks:)

  • goose@polka.co.za

    I enjoyed your wiggle wire technique. I will have to wait a while before I can attempt this as 40 years of potting has taken its toll on hands and now have left hand in splint after recent op. You have me chomping at the bit. Unfortunately we only seem to have one size wire in South Africa. Can’t wait to show my students.
    Dee ‘t Hart

  • Hi Karen,
    There are several suppliers for wiggle wires. My own favorites come from Dirty Girls Clay Supplies — available through several online suppliers, including the folks who actually make it — Kentucky Mudworks. I use all their sizes and shapes, but my two favorites are the “baby” and “gap tooth.” If you go to my website (NanRothwellPottery.com) or poke around in the CAD archives, you can find a link to a short clip where I use their gap tooth wire to make a wiggle wire plate.
    Good potting,

  • Karen H.

    HI.. I loved this video, for both the wiggle wire technique and the handle pulling (which I am not too good at yet!… I was wondering where to get a wiggle wire??

  • Ok, I learned how to fix my S cracks and tweaking my cup handles. Hurray!!!

  • Thank you Nan! I enjoyed the video and the clarity of your instructions. I look forward to trying out this great little project.

  • Sharon A.

    Wonderful video. I feel more confident about doing handles now.

  • Wonderful mug & great instructions! Thank you!

  • Great video. Thanks so much. I’m trying it tomorrow when I’m in my studio. Wonderfully instructive…great demonstration. Thank you, Nan Rothwell.

  • Great video, I enjoyed it and picked up a few tips.
    Thank you

  • What a pleasant start to the week! Thanks for your kind comments! Kevin and I had a fine time filming this and it’s fun to see the end product and read all your notes. Someone wrote me privately to ask about the wire. It’s from Dirty Girls Clay Tools – the one they call the “baby”. I use all their different styles of wires, but am particularly partial to the smallest for faceting thrown work and the one called “gap tooth” for wide surfaces. Thanks, Nan Rothwell

  • I have to echo all the positive comments! Ms Rothwell, your teaching style is clear and informative. Love the wiggle wire look and as others have stated, the ease with which you work the handle onto the mug is an inspiration! Thanks so much! blessings! s

  • Michael G.

    Nan Rothwell has a wonderful, natural teaching approach. She’s thorough, logical, and precise with each step. Best of all, though, is her manner. I would love to sit in the kitchen (or studio) with Nan, sipping strong coffee from one of her wiggle-wired mugs and talking about pots, life, whatever comes up. Thanks Nan. We have never met, yet I feel we are friends.

  • Carole F.

    Loved the video – plenty of tips both technical & creative!

  • ‘S’ cracks are caused by poor compression of the base, and/or leaving too much water in the base – using a simple sponge on a sticks helps compress the base and soak up excess water in cylinders. When opening up the cylinder compress the base with the thumb or a rubber kidney. Throwing using slip will also help prevent the clay becoming too water logged.

  • Reader L.

    I love it só much! Tank you.
    Maria Angelica
    Santos -Sao Paulo-Brasil.

  • Thanks guys – I reordered CM – one reason being I love the work you show here and wanted to support it. Much appreciated and I have videos and books on my Xmas wish list!

  • So elegantly and competently done, very nice.

  • Audree S.

    I echo everyone’s thanks for clarity in description and the handle clues. Great video!

  • Andrea G.

    I think I’m putting Nan’s video on my wish list. I love her teaching style and always learn something. Thanks so much for posting such great video clips.

  • I would love to be as fortunate as the people who have made comments about the video clip. I do not have an arrow to click on, so can not watch it and the FAQ page did not help. Strangely enough, I can watch all of the videos advertising Skutt wheels. Anyone have a suggestion?

  • Nan is awesome as usual…I’ve taken two workshops with her and she always manages to provide straightforward explanations and easy to follow directions. I’m going to add some wiggle wire texture to a pot right now! Thanks for posting!

  • This is the first time I have watched Nan Rothwell. It was remarkably easy to understand — what a great teacher she is. Thanks!!

    June V.

  • Janice W.

    Great video. Wonderful clear insruction by Nan. Much appreciated.

  • Thank you for the clear and precise instruction!! Love this mug!

  • Thanks! Your descriptive clarity is appreciated. 🙂

  • I love the wiggle wire technique, it gives the pot a different and interesting texture. This texture will allow the glaze to pool and make it prettier. Thanks for posting this video. I always look forward to the video clips. 🙂

  • I am learning so much from the wonderful videos you post on this site.

  • Daphne A.

    I liked this clip a lot, thanks for posting. The wiggle cutting was very interesting and very well explained, but what I REALLY enjoyed was the handle primer. I know all that, I put handles on things all the time (but like many I HATE pulling handles), but this is the first time the explanation of each step seemed so clear and simple. No matter how basic the activity, I always seem to learn something new from watching others work. Thanks again for posting the vid!

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