Methods of Hand building with Clay

Everyone has once placed clay and mud in their childhood and made different things from it. Still, some people are professionals in this and use different kinds of clay to create beautiful designs, pottery, sculptures, and many other unique artworks.

People who were learning how to make such beautiful things need first to understand how to handle the clay and what things they need to take care of while handling the clay. Even the preparation of the clay you will use for the pottery is essential to ensure that it does not break and is smooth while making anything. 

Discussion about simple ways of Hand building with Clay

Pottery is becoming famous because of the things that professionals have made, and also it has proved to be a good source of income for the coming generations. People are shopping more interested in this field but are unaware of many things because they are only focused on making things. There are a lot of things that they have to consider before making any sculpture or pottery. Let us see what those things are.

hand building with clay

Things that you need to ensure before making any pottery:

Clay that you will use: Choosing suitable clay is critical in this profession, and you should know what clay is best for which kind of work. Anyone can use ordinary clay for pottery, but the things made from it will easily break or can not even sustain for a few days. This is why people take advice and guidance from experts when making anything about clay.

Clays can be of many types; each has properties and time to settle and become hard. Even the temperature difference for the clays makes them unique and expensive. If you are a beginner and do not know anything about clays, then you can learn about them or take expert advice on the temperatures; you can refer to the packets in which the clays are delivered or even the user guide present in the kits.

Preparing the clay: After you successfully decide which clay you will use, you need to understand how to prepare the clay. This is very important because more water can lead to difficulty while shaping it, and even if the clay is dry, you can not mold it properly, and it will also break very easily. So, you have to follow the proper steps to prepare the clay for any kind of pottery.

For preparing the clay, wedging is a very important step because, in this process, you remove all the air present in the clay, and this process is also necessary to strengthen the clay and reduce the chances of it breaking while you heat.

Have a stable base: You should always have a nice and stable base where you can do all your pottery work because one small mistake can ruin your complete work, and you have to then start it again. So, it is better to start it on a stable base where you can do everything except the heating part.

Knowing how to use the basic tools: All the processes in pottery making require knowledge, and the one who has the knowledge of using the tools can complete their work on time and also with more efficiency. You should also know some of the tools to save your time as well as to enhance the look of the pottery that you are going to make.

Having knowledge about Kiln: Kiln is the furnace, or you can say the place where you will dry the things that you have made. As you have already read about the difference in temperature of each kind of clay, you need to make sure that the temperature of the Kiln remains constant for the particular clay while you are heating.

These are only some of the points that you have to take care of while you are preparing to start with your pottery. But still, people have a question about what kind of techniques the professionals use for making such beautiful art. There are basically three methods popularly used by everyone to make pottery, and you will be reading about them soon.

hand build small pot with clay

Three methods of Hand building with clay:

Pinch Pot method: The most used method if you are a beginner and even you have used this method in childhood for making different things just for fun purposes. But here, you will be using this method to make beautiful sculptures and pottery. This method looks easy, but it is not because here, you have to take care of the width of the edges and also the depth at the center.                                                                                                                                                                                       

In this method, you first have to take the required amount of clay that you need for your work and then press your thumb inside the clay and make sure that you leave 1/4th amount of clay for the base because the bigger you will take the pit the thinner it will get.

After making the pit with your thumb at the center, you can start stretching the clay slowly from all directions and make sure to keep rotating it with your hands. You can do this on a stable base or also in your hands, depending on the size of the sculpture.

After that, start giving the shape of the clay from all sides before the clay starts to get dry. When you are done with the shaping process, then you can heat it at the mentioned temperature and for the mentioned time. At last, you can color it to make it more attractive and beautiful.

If the surface is not smooth, then you can use your hands and a little amount of water to smoothen the surface before heating the clay. checkout how to make a pinch pot with attention to detail in our guide to get best results from your clay pot made with hand pinching 

Coil Method: This method might sound a little different, but it is very interesting for a lot of people. Here also, you need to follow the same process for preparing the clay that you used earlier. In this method, you have to take a decent amount of clay to make a slab by rolling it.

After making the slab, you can start with the coiling process, and for that, you need to make coils with the clay. Then, put the coils one by one in the shape that you want and also keep applying some clay from the outer side to make it strong. Repeat the process again until you get the desired shape and size, and then heat it after smoothening.

coil pottery method explained

Slap Method: In this method, you have to make a clay slab as you made in the coil method, but here you have to do it on a plain cloth because the main work will be done on the surface of the slab. After making the slab, your empty canvas is ready to be painted, and you can now start making any kind of design using the tools.

You can even cut the slab according to your need and make different shapes from that, and this is the reason why the slab method is used for making wall art and designs that you see on the ceilings or on the walls. At last, heat the design to make it hard and lose all the moisture.

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