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How to build a bowl (without a wheel!) | Pottery Handbuilding Tutorial - Amaranth Stoneware Canada

We're always on the hunt for a great handbuilding project, and our teacher Yuko Body shared with us a stunner of a project (perfect for collecting the falling leaves this time of year)!

How you ask? Slump molds all the way!

Tools you’ll need:

  •  A ceramic slump mold (hand-thrown bisqueware or a homemade mold using Plaster of Paris)
  • A scratch tool 
  • “Magic Water” (aka slip with a little extra *magical* chemicals)
  • Sponge 
  • Found leaves (oak and maple are our top picks)

Roll out a slab of your favourite hand building clay (maybe try 436 for a white clay or 613 for a red clay). You want the slab to be about 1 cm in thickness. Let the slab stiffen up a little bit beforehand. 

Trace some found leaves on the slab and cut them out. For a nice clean cut, we suggest this style of knife. As you cut them out place them in the slump mold. Decide where you want the next leave to go, score and slip both leaves with Magic Water and stick them together. You can soften the seams with a whip-out tool. Continue doing this until the whole bowl is full of leaves.

Detail the leaves if you so desire, and you may want to finish it with our faithful white Mudsponge to get it nice and smooth and press it down into the mold further. Let it dry slowly, and you should be able to pop it right out of the mold as it shrinks.

Ta-dah! That’s it.

Let us know how you did, we love seeing customer and student work! Tag your masterpieces on Instagram @amaranthstoneware to show 'em off.

This piece is glazed with Pistachio Shino.