Coil Pottery

- Ceramic Vases project.

Coil Pottery is made from rolling clay in to coils and attaching them together to make a form in the shape of, for example, a dish, bowl vase or pot.

This project shows how to make pottery by creating small pottery vases / ceramic vases.

You will need some clay, I am using stoneware clay to make this coil pottery. This can be bought from a pottery supply shop.

You will also need the use of a kiln. If you do not have a kiln this is probably a good time to talk to your local pottery shop or paint your own pottery cafe in order to see if you can get agreement for them to fire your work.

Please note that this vase is quite small. Should you find building this difficult you may want to make the vase larger. Working with larger coils may be easier until you get familiar with the feel of the clay.

stoneware clay ballTake a ball of stoneware pottery clay and make in to a ball.

pottery beadsFlatten the clay in your hand.

pottery beadsRoll out some clay to create a base.

pottery beadsMark out the shape for your base and trim clay.

pottery beadsRoll out your first clay coil.

pottery beadsScore the side of the base in order to lay the first coil securely.

pottery beadsWet the scored clay and then lay the first coil.

pottery beadsPress the coil on to the base making a secure smooth joint.

pottery beadsAdd coils to start building the side of the vase.

pottery beadsWhen you have a reasonable number of coils laid to work with. Start the smoothing of the edges. Start with scoring the clay with a clay tool.

pottery beadsSmooth with thumb or finger.

pottery beadsMake sure you repeat inside. The inside will get harder to reach, the taller your vase gets, it will them be harder to work on the bottom.

pottery beadsSmooth both inside and outside of form.

pottery beadsAdd additional coils to grow the sides. You need to maintain the strength in the walls. If they are soft you may feel that it would be better to wait while the clay dries a little before adding the next layers of coils.

pottery beadsContinue to score and smooth the coils to integrate them in to the vase.

pottery beadsAdd more coils. The shape is being changed by placing coils closer to the inside edge of the coil below. This will create a shape where the sides slope inwards. Be careful when doing this as the walls may collapse if the change is dramatic.

pottery beadsContinue to smooth the sides as you build.

pottery beadsWork until you have the shape you want.

pottery beadsAdd a last coil and some detail to create the top edge of the vase.

pottery beadsTidy up the sides using a metal kidney. This will become easier if the clay dries slightly first.

pottery beadsAllow to dry before bisque firing.

See some examples of my coil pottery pots