How to Make a Coil Pot | Explained in 10 Easy Steps 2024 (2024)

Are you looking for a project that is both fun and rewarding? Coil pottery provides an amazing way to express creativity through the art of clay construction. It allows you to create a beautiful pot in your own unique design with only basic materials, and it’s also great for beginners looking to explore the world of ceramics.

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In this blog post, we’ll be walking you through the steps of how to make a coil pot! Whether you’re a crafting novice or an experienced ceramicist, this guide will teach everything you need to know about making a coil pot- from the right tools and supplies all the way through firing methods. So let’s get started on creating something beautiful!

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What Is a Coil Pot?

A coil pot is a type of ceramic art that is created by rolling coils of clay, then pressing the coils together to form a pot or vessel. The coiling technique dates back thousands of years and is one of the most basic methods for creating ceramic artwork. It can be used to create both functional and decorative vessels.

The coil pot method generally involves starting with a base, building up sides with rolls of clay, and smoothing out the edges before firing. Coil pots are often decorated with textures, colors, and designs, making them unique pieces of art. With patience and practice, anyone can learn how to make a coil pot at home!

The end product produced from this method will have a rustic appearance due to the organic shapes and textures created by the coils. Due to the variety of sizes and shapes that can be made, coil pots are perfect for creating items such as planters, tealight holders, vases, and more.

Making a coil pot is an enjoyable creative activity that can be accomplished with minimal supplies. Several simple tools and materials are necessary to create these pieces, hopefully bringing joy in your life! With a little practice, you can also learn how to make a coil pot like a pro! So let’s get started.

10 Steps How to Make a Coil Pot

Coil pottery is a versatile and ancient hand-building technique that involves rolling out coils of clay and stacking them to create a desired form. Here are 10 steps on how to make a coil pot:

Step 1: Gather Materials and Prepare Clay

Gather all the materials you’ll need, including clay, water, a clay knife or cutting tool, a rolling pin or slab roller, and a clean work surface. Wedge the clay to remove any air bubbles and ensure it’s pliable and ready for use.

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If you are using a pre-made slab of clay, use the rolling pin or slab roller to smooth it out and make sure that’s it at least ¼ inch thick. To make a slab, roll out the clay until it’s even and thick.

Step 2: Create Coil Strips

Take a small portion of clay and roll it into a long, thin coil strip using your hands or a rolling pin. The thickness and length of the coil strip will depend on your design and desired pot size. To create a coil pot, you will need many of these strips.

For larger pots, create thicker and longer coils while smaller pots will require thinner and shorter coils. It is best to roll out the clay strips in batches so that they are all uniform in size and thickness.

Step 3: Attach the First Coil to the Base

Using your fingers or a clay tool, press the first coil onto the base of your pot, creating a ring. Smooth the edges to ensure a tight bond between the coil and the base. Make sure not to overlap the coil, as this can cause uneven walls.

While attaching the coil, imagine that you are putting a belt around your pot so that it is snug to its base. You can also use a damp sponge or water bottle to wet the edges of the clay and help bond it to the base. Continue adding coils around the circumference of your pot, pressing each one firmly against the last.

Step 4: Add More Coils and Stack

Continue rolling out coil strips and attaching them to the previous coil, stacking them on top of each other. Press the coils together firmly, blending and smoothing the edges as you go, to create the desired shape and height for your pot.

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Make sure to use the same amount of pressure throughout each coil. Once you have added enough coils for your desired shape and size, gently press the ends of the final coil into the base to secure it firmly.

Step 5: Coil and Blend the Seams

As you stack the coils, make sure to coil and blend the seams where they meet to create a seamless appearance. Use your fingers or a clay tool to smooth and blend the coils together, ensuring they are securely attached.

To ensure the pot is evenly structured, blend the coils and seams together until they form a single continuous coil. Smooth out any edges that may appear between the coils and seams. If there are any large gaps between the coils, pinch them together to close the gaps.

Step 6: Shape the Pot

Use your fingers, hands, or clay tools to shape the pot as desired. You can create various forms, such as cylinders, bowls, or vases, by gently pinching, pushing, and shaping the clay to your liking.

If your pot starts to get too thin in one area, use some more coils to add thickness. Once you’re happy with the overall design, leave it to dry overnight. While the pot is drying, make sure to place it in a safe spot away from pets and children.

Step 7: Create and Attach the Rim (Optional)

If desired, you can create a rim for your pot by rolling out a coil strip and attaching it to the top edge of the pot. Blend and smooth the rim to ensure it’s securely attached and matches the rest of the pot.

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Make sure the rim is even and symmetrical for an aesthetically pleasing finish. If you’d like, you can also add a decorative element to the rim, such as a pattern or texture. Once your rim is complete, let the pot dry before firing it in a kiln.

Step 8: Add Decorative Elements (Optional)

You can add decorative elements to your coil pot, such as texture, carving, or slip designs. Get creative and personalize your pot with unique touches.

If you are using glazes, make sure to apply them before firing the pot in a kiln. Allow the pot to dry completely before adding any other elements, and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.

Step 9: Allow the Pot to Dry

Once you’re satisfied with the shape and design of your coil pot, set it aside in a dry, well-ventilated area to allow it to dry slowly and evenly. This may take several days to a week, depending on the size and thickness of the pot.

During the drying process, it’s a good idea to check your pot and adjust its shape as needed periodically. When the pot is finally dry, you can start to enjoy its unique beauty!

Step 10: Bisque Fire and Glaze (Optional)

After the coil pot has dried completely, it’s ready for bisque firing in a kiln to transform it into a ceramic piece. Once bisque-fired, you can choose to glaze your pot to add color and finish. Follow the firing and glazing instructions for your specific clay type and kiln. Once finished, you will have a beautiful and unique coil pot!

Some Common Mistakes When Making a Clay Pot:

1. Not Rolling the Coils of Clay Evenly:

Make sure to roll all your coils consistently in order to create an even and strong pot. It might take some practice to get the hang of it but try to keep your pressure and speed consistent as you roll out each coil.

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2. Not Joining the Coils Securely:

When joining the coils together, make sure that there is a firm connection between them for a strong pot. Try using a tool such as a needle tool or wooden dowel to press down on the coil seam and join them together firmly.

3. Losing The Form of Your Pot:

If you pull too hard on your clay pot while shaping it, you may find yourself having lost its form. To avoid this, take your time and use gentle movements when working with clay in order to maintain its shape and prevent breakage.


After following the steps above, you will have created a unique and stunning piece of pottery. Coil pots have an ancient history, stretching back to some of the earliest traditional pottery in the Americas.

The technique is simple and can be adapted to show off your own style with a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced ceramicist looking to do something new, coil pot making is fun for all levels of experience.

With patience and practice, you can hone your skills and turn out beautiful pieces that are strong enough to hold up whatever you decide to fill them with. So if you’ve been inspired by this guide on How To Make a Coil Pot, don’t hesitate – get out there and start experimenting! Who knows? You could be the newest master in the long-standing tradition of coil pot building.

How to Make a Coil Pot | Explained in 10 Easy Steps 2024 (2024)


How to Make a Coil Pot | Explained in 10 Easy Steps 2024? ›

If you have a limited choice of kilns available to you, then earthenware clay might be the best option as it is a low fire clay. It is also easier to shape and more malleable because it has a plastic base. This also means that it will hold its shape really well after you have formed it.

What is the best clay for coil pots? ›

If you have a limited choice of kilns available to you, then earthenware clay might be the best option as it is a low fire clay. It is also easier to shape and more malleable because it has a plastic base. This also means that it will hold its shape really well after you have formed it.

How thick should the base be for a coil pot? ›

Press down with the heel of your hand to flatten it into a circle. It should be about as thick as your small finger. This will be the base of your pot.

What is a coil pot and how do you make it? ›

Coiled pots are constructed by gradually stacking and joining coils of clay one on top of the other. The coils can be left visible or can be smoothed away depending on your desired aesthetic end result.

How does a potter make a pot? ›

Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures (600–1600 °C) in a bonfire, pit or kiln, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and rigidity of the object.

What is a coil vase? ›

Coil pottery is a method of handbuilding pottery where a potter forms a base, walls, and style by combining clay coils (or cylinders). The potter rolls the clay into coils, stacks the coils together, and joins the coils through pressure creating a vessel.

Can you coil air dry clay? ›

Clay coiling

The clay coiling technique is one of the easiest techniques to learn, you can also apply this technique to pottery clay, later down the track too. Begin your coil by rolling the air dry clay out into small snakes using a rolling pin or the side of an old jar.

How do you make a clay pot step by step? ›

Place the ball of clay in your left hand. Insert your right thumb into the center of the sphere, stopping about ½” from the bottom. Widen the thumb hole gradually by continuously turning the sphere while you simultaneously pinch the sides. Periodically smooth the walls and reshape the pot as you go.

What is one way you can make a base for your coil pot? ›

The easiest way to make a base is with a slab of clay. Roll it out with a rolling pin or wine bottle to around 5mm thick. If you'd like a rounded base, or want to get a jump start on some height, you can also add coils to a pinchpot - just leave it to dry for a little before attaching so that you don't squash it!

How is a coil made? ›

Coils are made from insulated copper wire wound about a core or a pin. They can also be: coreless and self-bonded, i.e., the coil is bound to itself during the winding process. wound around a shape, such as a rectangle.

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