How to Make a Coiled Clay Vessel

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I did this at TechShop Menlo Park. http://www.techshop.com

You can have fun and make clay vessels without having a spinning wheel. Coiling technique is simple, easy and fun for all ages.

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Step 1: Set Up

We used wax paper to line the table and tape to reinforce it, a big chunk of clay and a wire to cut it. Always keep clay air tight in the bag when not being used. It will dry quickly.

Step 2: Cut Clay

Pull thin pieces of clay with a wire. Enough to make a think coil not extending two thirds of your arm span. 

Step 3: Roll a Coil

In a rolling motion, letting the flat surface of the table assist in making smooth long strings. Start in the middle of your coil and massage your way outwards to keep the thickness uniform throughout the coil.

Step 4: Make a Base

Twist the coil into a roll and smoothen over with wet fingers to get rid of any small surface cracks.

Step 5: Make Walls

Now is the time to creative and guide the coming coils to make a vessel of your choice. Keeping the thinness of coils the same attach them and go as big or small and as thin or wide as you please when it comes to creating the walls of your vessel.  

Step 6: Make Supports

I used cups to suppot the vessel from drooping while drying. Air dry for at least a day. It takes a day per inch of thickness to air dry before it's safe to fire in a kiln. Any trapped moisture morsels will get to temperature, expand and explode creating cracks in the sculpture. Be patient.
Have fun!

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