Making my first piece of pottery, start to finish! 

I recently took a beginner's ceramics class. This is my first piece, a plant pot using the 'coil' handbuilding technique.  I'm going to break down the process step by step.

Clay + Tools


I started out with a bag of mid fire stoneware clay, a basic pottery toolkit & a water container.

Knead + Wedge


It's important to wedge clay just to be sure it's a uniform consistency & avoid air bubbles, which can be disastrous later on.

Roll a Coil


The planter is handbuilt (no wheel!) using coils, so the next step is to build a flat base & start making coils, taking care to keep edges tapered.

Build it up


Start with a flat base & keep adding coils. I chose to let the 'coils' show on the outside but made sure that they were well merged inside.

Let it Dry


Once it's fully built, it's time to patiently let it dry for a few days.

Bone dry


The clay I used was grey when wet but once bone dry, it turns bright white (& also shrinks by about 10%) It is now ready to decorate!



You can use underglazes or stains for this. I used a slip (also known as engobe) & went for a flowing watercolor effect.

Fully Decorated


Once decorated the colours may look dull, they will brighten significantly after 'firing'.



Glaze will make your piece shiny & durable. The one I used looks white but will be totally transparent after firing.

All done!


My piece was high fired in a pottery kiln at 1180°C / 2156°F & I was left with this, which I couldn't be more pleased with.