Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Coil Build A Coffeepot

For the beginning potter a large investment like a potter's wheel may not be feasible. But there is another way to construct pottery without a wheel. That is with coil building. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make your very own coil-built coffeepot.

Things You’ll Need:



Cup of water

Old paintbrush


Wooden modeling tool

Wire loop tool

Making A Coil Coffeepot
Step 1:
Roll a ball of clay and flatten it into a disk 3/4 inches think to serve as the base.

Step 2:
Roughen the top outer edge of the disk and moisten it with your paintbrush.

Step 3:
Roll a coil of clay and lay it on the outer edge of the base. Cut the ends of the coil at a slant so that they will join without making a thick spot in the walls.

Step 4:
Weld the coil firmly into place and press it and the base firmly together so that the divide between them cannot be seen. Mold the form with your fingers until it’s about 1/2 inch thick and uniform throughout.

Step 5:
When the first coil is finished, roughen the top and moisten it. Then roll a second coil and put it into place on top of the first. Smooth it in the same fashion as the first coil to make one whole piece. Repeat the same procedure with a third coil.

Step 6:
The walls of the work may be too weak to sustain the weight of a fourth coil. If so, set the piece aside for a few hours to harden a little before continuing. Add as many coils are as necessary to form the shape of the pot.

Step 7:
Trim the top edge of the pot clean with your knife and rub the pot all over with the flat of your wooden modeling tool to smooth its surface. You needn't be extremely thorough just yet.

Step 8:
Let the piece dry for another hour or two, and then shape the foot. The base of the pot was made deliberately thick, allowing you space to use your wire loop tool to carve out a rim for the pot to stand on. Hold the piece carefully while you do this so you don't spoil the top edge that you've already smoothed.

Step 9:
Roll a ball of clay, flatten it, and cut out a fan shaped piece. A bit like Pac-Man. This can be folded to make the spout.

Step 10:
Cut a downward pointing triangular opening at the top of the pot where the spout will be. Roughen the edges of the pot and mold the spout into place.

Step 11:
Roll another coil of clay and flatten it into a strip with your thumb.

Step 12:
Bend the strip into a handle shape, like a "C" and mold both ends to the pot on the side directly opposite the spout. Congratulations! Aside from decoration and glazing you've finished your pot

Tips & Warnings
make a cardboard cutout in the exact sidelong shape you want your pot to be and use it as a template to ensure the coils match the cutout. Sometimes you may find it helpful to roll a very thin coil of clay and press it into the joint between the pot and the coil you are adding.

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