So, last week (week 6) we created pots using a ‘former’ and a process where we rolled up balls of clay, lined the former and then pressed them down to compact together so that the outside of the pot would be textured/patterned. I made a couple of pots. One very basic and small (which apparently did survive), and the other slightly bigger and more adventurous (which didn’t). However, it transpires I did not press the clay down enough, and so was not joined properly, and as you can see in the picture, the clay pulled apart in the drying process.
This week (week 7) we made our first coil pots. Coiling is one of the oldest methods for creating pots and has been used for thousands of years. Simply put, you create a base, by either cutting out a piece of clay, or coiling a piece. You then roll out lengths of clay into ropes, they can be flat or round, then coil them onto the base, working up and roughly ‘join’ them to each other by smoothing (in a manner of speaking) the clay from each coil to the one below. As you can see from the images below. You then wait for the pot to become ‘leather hard’ at which point you then smooth and tidy up the sides.
It’s a rather calming and satisfying process, as evidenced by the room remaining relatively quiet while we were all coiling. I enjoyed the process a lot, and am keen to make another using this method.
However, it remains to be seen how successful I was once my pot starts to dry out. The danger of course with this method is that the coils not having been joined well enough, will pull apart in the drying process. Having watched quite a lot of coil pot techniques online, I think there are definitely parts of the process I can improve on, so plan to practice a bit more at home, as this is a method I really like.
We shall see. See you next week!
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