Ways & How

How to Make a Clay Pot

How to Make a Clay Pot

Since ancient times, clay pots have been widely used to cook, for water and food storage, and for ornamental purposes. The usefulness of clay pots has never changed. Thus, the art of clay making has remained a craft that has survived from generation to generation. Nowadays, however, there have been slight changes introduced in the process of how to make a clay pot. If you want to try making a clay pot, read on below.

  1. Prepare a working dress. Clay pot making means you have to get dirty. Thus, prepare your work clothes, preferably a pair of old dress and pants.

  2. Use a dark colored working apron. Put on a dark working apron on top of your work clothes to protect them from direct contact with the clay dirt.

  3. Knead the clay. Kneading is the process of seasoning the clay. The clay must be free of lumps, air bubbles, and soft spots; if not removed, these irregularities will burst when the pot is baked in the oven. Kneading must be done properly in order to even out the clay’s consistency and make it more pliable.



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  4. Form a ball. Take a handful of clay and throw it from one hand to another until the clay forms like a ball. In other words, smack the clay into a ball.

  5. Dry the wheel. This will allow the ball of clay to firmly adhere onto the wheel. Make sure that your hands are clean and that the clay is well-kneaded as you start spinning the wheel.

  6. Prepare a bucket of water. From time to time during the pot forming process, you need to wet your hands to enhance the texture of the pot. This will also create a smooth touch on the clay’s physical appearance.

  7. Put the piece of clay on the wheel. This is the start of the whole process of making a clay pot. Make sure to throw the ball of clay onto the center of the wheel. Then put downward pressure on the ball of clay to force it to form a conical shape.

  8. Spin the wheel. While building up the spinning speed, put some water on the clay ball. Put one hand on the side of the clay lump and place the other hand on top of it, then ease the clay lump towards the center. To keep the clay from flying out of control, use your upper hand and hold the clay together.

  9. Wedge the wheel. Wet your hands and press the clay down into a disk. See to it that the clay is properly centered on the wheel as you wedge it. Once the clay does not wobble, that means it is properly centered.

  10. Form a clay pot. First, insert one thumb into the spinning clay mass until your thumb reaches about ½ inch from the bottom. Then slowly insert your four fingers into the hole created by your thumb. Work on it until the hole gets bigger. Work on the hole using your hand placed outside of the clay to shape the pot. Slowly pull the clay up until it reaches your desired clay pot height.

Working on a clay pot using a wheel requires patience, craftsmanship, and precision. Once you know the basic steps of how to make a clay pot using a wheel, you can easily accomplish the job. It may take some time, though, to master this craft.

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