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Handbuilding Techniques

Handbuilding may be an ancient pottery making technique, but there is no shortage of exciting work being created today by the hands of ceramic artists. Here, we’ll share with you some of the most inventive handbuilt work out there and give step-by-step instruction from the artists making it. Handbuilding projects, from the simple coil built pot to complex slab built sculpture, are covered in detail. Peruse through our archive of articles and videos on handbuilding techniques, whether you want to brush up on a process or start off in a new direction. And, if you haven't already, be sure download your free copy of our Five Great Handbuilding Techniques: How to Make Pottery Using the Pinch, Coil and Slab Methods for some handbuilding project ideas.


Handbuilding Video: How to Make a Handbuilt Textured Ceramic Hors D’oeuvres Tray Using Just, Your Hands, a Lump of Clay, a Spring and a Sponge

Posted On March 2, 2012 17 Comments

Today we have a cool little video from Mark Peters. Mark is so good at taking a simple idea and the most basic of tools – a lump of clay, a sponge, and a stretched-out spring – and turning it into a loose, yet elegant piece of pottery. Have a look and then give this one a try!


Pottery Video of the Week: How to Design and Make a Stiff Slab Vase

Posted On February 3, 2012 1 Comment

In today’s video clip, an excerpt from our latest DVD project, Clay Projects and Fundamentals: A Resource for Aspiring Clay Artists and Teachers, Neil Patterson demonstrates a stiff slab vase project. He also gives great tips for working with paper to come up with interesting designs.

Desserts are indulgent, sometimes even decadent. Deb’s pedestal-footed dessert boats make it even more delightful.

Just Desserts: Thrown and Altered Pottery as Delicious as the Treats Inside

Posted On January 23, 2012 0 Comments

You might recall a recent CAD video in which Deb Schwartzkopf demonstrated one of her sweet little dessert bowls. In today’s post, an excerpt from the January/February 2012 Pottery Making Illustrated, Deb expands on that demonstration to show some variations on that form. If you find a little time to experiment, you’ll see that the possibilities are endless with this technique.

Photo of Amy Sanders pressing a bisque forming plate into a slab of clay

Pottery Video of the Week: How to Make Press-Molded Trays Using a Bisque Forming Plate

Posted On December 30, 2011 0 Comments
Today’s video clip is another excerpt from Amy Sanders new DVD Creative Forming with Custom Texture. This project is one of my favorites from the DVD. After filming, I was so excited I went to the studio and cranked out a bunch of these bisque forming plates. Now I just need to find time to… Read More »

The Kachelofen: Its Time has Come, Again

Posted On December 26, 2011 1 Comment
“Imagine that you are sitting in a room in your home, reading a good book, nestled right up against an oven whose clay-tile surface is keeping you warm. There is a built-in wood bench surrounding it, which encourages you to cozy right up against its wall. You realize that the entire day has gone by,… Read More »

Puffy Pots: How to Use Double Walled Construction to Give Your Pottery Volume

Posted On December 7, 2011 11 Comments

Chris Pickett’s puffy forms reference stuffed
animals and inflatable toys and the visible seams give the work a casual
and relaxed feel. Chris creates his inflated forms through
double walled construction using slump molds and paper patterns. In
today’s post, Chris takes us through this fun way of working.


The Handle-Less Pitcher: A Simple Pottery Form that Does Not Sacrifice Function

Posted On November 28, 2011 9 Comments

Bill Griffith had been making small creamers and pitchers for a while when he decided that the handles, while pleasing aesthetically, were not functioning as well as he wanted them to. After experimenting with the form, he came up with handle-less pots that actually functioned better ergonomically than the pots had been making with handles. In today’s post, Bill explains his process for these slab-built handle-less pitchers.

Clay Pumpkin, by Lisa Bare Culp.

Bonus Monday Pottery Video: Spooky Clay – How to Make a Clay Jackolantern

Posted On October 31, 2011 37 Comments

We love Halloween here at Ceramic Arts Daily, and for today’s post, we wanted to have a little fun. So we called on our friend Lisa Bare Culp (who is always a hoot) and she delivered. In today’s bonus Halloween video, Lisa demonstrates a fun, festive (and spooky!) Halloween project suited for all ages. Happy Halloween everybody!


Pottery Video of the Week: Making Interesting Cup Shapes by Combining Bisque Molded and Wheel-Thrown Parts

Posted On October 21, 2011 36 Comments

In today’s video, Deborah Schwartzkopf demonstrates how she makes the super cool bottoms of her cup forms with a slab and a bisque fired mold. She then skillfully attaches the base to a bottomless wheel-thrown cylinder, which she then darts and alters to make the shape just right. Voila! Not your typical cylindrical cup form.


Bonus Monday Pottery Video: Nifty Adjustable Mold System Makes Many Shapes and Sizes Possible with a Single Mold

Posted On October 17, 2011 71 Comments

In this bonus Monday pottery video, Dale Baucum tries out a couple of adjustable molds for slab building. The beauty of these molds is that you can make a plethora of different shapes and sizes of pots with just one mold. Super cool.