Introduction: Japanese Tea Bowl

How to make Japanese Tea Bowls that you can drink from!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

  1. Ball of clay
  2. Canvas board
  3. Magic Tool/Knife/Pin tool (for scouring and slipping)
  4. Vinegar (for scouring and slipping)
  5. Slab roller or Rolling pin
  6. Stamp(s)
  7. Rectangular template
  8. Water for smoothing

Step 2: Roll Out Your Clay

Grab your clay and roll it out using the slab roller (long enough to fit your rectangular template).

Step 3: Decorate the Slab

Place your clay slab on a canvas board, and smooth out the clay. Using the stamps made during class, decorate your slab.

Step 4: Cut It Out

Cut out a rectangle using your rectangular template on your slab.

Step 5: Prepare to Create the Base of Your Cup

Lift your slab up and place it upright, overlapping the edges to measure your seam. The edges should overlap (don't worry), that's how the tea bowl is supposed to look.

Step 6: Seal Your Seam

Scour and slip the seams, re-overlap the edges, and bind them together. Hold them there for a couple seconds to make sure they stay together.

Step 7: Smooth Out the Inside

Looking into the cylinder, smooth out the inner edge, creating a smooth inside. The overlapped edge on the inside should be gone now, and everything should look and feel smooth.

Step 8: Prepare to Create Your Base

Place your cup upside down (your design should be upside down) if it wasn’t already. We are creating the base.

Create a triangle with your thumbs and index fingers. This should be the formation that helps shape the base of the cup.

Step 9: Create Your Base

Using that hand formation, push the rim of the cup inwards to create that triangular shape.

Proceed to bring the middles of the 3 sides together to create a triangular gap in the middle as close to an equilateral triangle as you can.

Step 10: Scour and Slip

Reopen the triangle. Then scour and slip about an inch down the inside of the cup.

Step 11: Close and Smooth

Close the cup and smooth the seams to your liking.

Step 12: Cover the Gap

To cover the triangular gap, create a button by rolling a small amount of clay and flattening it just wide enough to cover the gap.

Step 13: Seal the Hole

Stamp the button with a design of your choice or your initials, then proceed to scour and slip it over the gap.

Step 14: Make Your Carrots

In order to smooth out the insides' crevices, create 3 carrots out of clay.

Step 15: Seal the Crevice

Place a carrot in a corner of the cup and smooth it out to create a smooth bottom.

Since this bowl will be used for tea, the bottom needs to be smooth to prevent mold or similar harmful things from growing in the hard-to-clean crevices.

Step 16: Seal the Last Crevices

Repeat for the other 2 corners.

Step 17: Smooth!

Finally, smooth out the inside completely and anywhere else that may need it.

Step 18: Fire!

Fire your bowl once and proceed to glaze it with Cone 5 glazes.

Clay Contest 2016

Participated in the
Clay Contest 2016