Learn to make cane handles for lids, plates, bowls, baskets and teapots. You’ll begin with an introduction to the materials and tools needed, how to properly prepare the materials so they’re workable, and even information on dyes both natural and commercial. Sheila Clennell takes you through several techniques from simple cane additions to lids and plates to finishing with one of the most complex forms — a teapot handle. You’ll find that using this forgiving material and following Sheila’s detailed step-by-step instruction, you’ll quickly make beautiful handles and natural additions for your pieces.

Runtime: 60 minutes


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Over the top

The clay over-the-top handle seems like a fragile addition, just calling out to be broken by the sink taps. Instead of a clay handle, we added clay lugs and experimented with bending or braiding copper, electrical wire and various other materials before settling on using round reed and binding cane. These materials are available from stores servicing the chair-caning and basket-making trade.

The need to make our own handles was brought home by my reading a post on the Clayart online discussion group. A well-known potter, who was the juror for a teapot show, had juried out all teapots with store-bought handles. This apparently rocked many boats and sent a message to potters that everything matters. If a potter is going to take the time to make an individual drop-dead-gorgeous teapot destined for a juried exhibition, they had better attend to every last detail! — Sheila Clennell

The right size

The Clennells make handmade cane handles for their pots and consider them value-added elements. It takes their pots to another level and sets them apart from others. It’s a signature that’s unique to them and tells their customers that they believe in tending to the very last detail. However, making cane handles improves with practice. You can make robust handles for gallon-sized teapots and more delicate handles for smaller 2-cup teapots. Making the right handle for the right pot is just not possible when you buy the one-size-fits-all handle from a supply store.

I have mentioned that cane handles make our pots unique. Sheila has instructed handle-making workshops where participants have added thread, cotton, shells, jewelry bits and pieces, and come away with handles that are distinctive to the maker. She shows you the bones of the handle making process and you make it your own creation. – Tony Clennell
Purchase the DVD $34.95
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FREE SHIPPING when you order online (US orders only)