In today’s pottery video, David Henry returns with a follow up to his pitcher throwing video, which was shown a few weeks back. David takes us through the process of making your very own hand-held clay extruder in his usual down-to-earth manner. With a few readily available and inexpensive parts, you can be well on your way to making your own custom extruded handles for your pots. But handles are not all extruders are good for!  Extrusions can provide an element of precise control, with defined edges and form that also strengthen the fragile edge of a piece of pottery. Below, you will find a great idea for using extrusions to enhance the rims of pots. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



(Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player. Please install the newest Flash Player.)


Using Extruded Elements to Make Beautiful and Functional Rims

by Jim Robison


Rims are one way any vessel comes to a visual close, as all lines lead upward to the mouth of the piece. The ways to achieve a successful ending are many of course, but a generous rim or lip is seen by many potters as a key to a successful pot. I suppose in throwing terms, the presence of a well-finished, proportional rim means that you did not have to struggle to raise the cylinder in the first place and had plenty of clay left over for this final ending curve. Often the profile of the lip is formed early in the process to make sure that this is possible, and the final shape is refined afterwards.


The form of the slab planter above is enhanced by a substantial extruded rim. Extruded detail elements can add precise control and strong defined edges to handbuilt vessels.


Just as with thrown forms, irregular slabs and extruded tubular pots seem to cry out for a finishing detail that makes the endings visually proportional to the form and an integral part of the overall design. It may be smooth and clean or undulating and active, a small line or a large architectural detail casting a shadow over the entire piece. One design solution may simply draw a line around the edge while another might be quite imposing and become a focus in its own right. The choice is yours and with extrusions, there is the opportunity to determine the size and weight of the rim as you study individual pieces.



This content was excerpted from the July/August 2008 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated magazine, which focused on the many uses for extruders.

Subscribe today to get great content like this delivered straight to your studio door!



A piece of thin plywood, plastic or metal, a drill (or Dremel), fret saw and set of files will create myriad die shapes (as shown below). I have begun to incorporate notches into the die shapes I make, creating an indented groove in the final extrusion that helps it to register securely over the top edge of the slab (as shown below). The increase in the surfaces of the pot and the rim that now come into contact means that the rim is securely attached to the piece with no messy joins to smooth out.


Click here to leave a comment