How to Make a Coil Pot


1.
Before you get started, mix a little clay and water together in a container. Stir it until it is nice and slimy. This gooey mixture is called slip.

2. It sounds backwards, but to make a coil pot, you start from the bottom. Pat a piece of clay into a round flat disc about as thick as a pencil. Try to make it as perfectly round as you can. You can trace around the bottom of a glass if you need help forming the clay into a round shape. Make your base at least three inches wide.

3. Now you're ready to start making the coils that you will use to build the pot from the bottom up. Roll out a long piece of clay so that it looks like a skinny sausage. It should be about as thick as your little finger. Try not to roll it so long that it gets dry and cracked. If it does, smooth on a little water with your fingers.

4. Use a pin tool or the tip of a sharp pencil to score the edges of your base. When you score the clay, you use your tool to scratch marks in it. Be careful not to dig all the way to the bottom.

5. Brush some slip over the marks on the edges of the base. Then score the bottom of you coil.

6.Press the coil around the edge of the base to start the walls of your pot. Curve it around until it overlaps at the end. You can see how to overlap the coil in the coil pot demo.

7. When you have the coil in place, score the top, and add some slip.

8. Roll out a new sausage of clay. Find the place where the first coil stopped, then press the new one down on top of it. When you get to the end, score the top. Then add slip and make yourself another sausage.

9. Keep adding new coils until your pot is as tall as you want it to be. You can smooth the sides with your fingers if you don't want the coils to show.

10. There are several ways to decorate your pot when you've finished shaping it. You can carve designs in it with a pin tool or pencil; you can press sea shells, or other objects around the house to make patterns in the sides. To finish your pot you will need to read the directions that came with your clay. Some store bought clay can be baked in the oven and then painted with ordinary acrylic paint. Other types of clay can be air dried, or may need to be fired in a kiln.

Now that you know how to make a basic coil pot, you can experiment with different shapes and sizes. Just remember - the most important rule for making coil pots is to have fun!