julianna kunstler logo


handbuilding method


by JuliannaKunstler.com



Coil pots are created by pressing coils of clay together.

  • Coils are pressed together creating a design. Gaps are filled in with small balls of clay.
  • Inside of the wall can be smoothed.
  • Join the walls & the bottom.

After wedging clay:

Keep your fingers flat to form clay pieces into "sausages". Then roll them into coils 1/4" to 1/2" thick.

Apply even pressure while rolling and moving your hands over the entire coil.

Do not concentrate on one area - move hands over entire coil.

Coils' thicknes should be consistent for the entire pot.
Start rolling the coils into spirals. Apply some pressure as you do so to keep the spirals tight.
Continue rolling....
Roll the rest of the coils.

Start dorming a design pattern .

Make sure all coils are the same thicknes.

place a couple of coils above and below your design.

Cut off the extras...

Use wooden strips to straighten the edges
press a ball of clay in each gap that you can see through

Cover up all gaps.


You can leave the gaps if negative space is a part of your design. Just be very carefil forming a pot.

Scrape all the coils together.

Don't worry about the other side. It will be still visible.

Tap the wooden strips again to straighten the edges.

You can smooth clay with a sponge now.


Time to form a pot.

Carefully lift the clay on one side.

Slowly... start bending clay to form a pot.
Cut the edges for a nice seam.
Join the edges.
Smooth the inside of the pot.
Roll more coils to form a bottom for the pot.
Again, start with forming a spiral.
Make it big enough for the pot
Smooth it
Apply some slip before placing the sides onto the bottom piece.
Smooth everything
Cut off the excess clay

Turn the pot upside down.

Smooth the edge

Smooth again.

You can use a pencil or a clay modeling tool to fix or enhanse the coil design on the pot.

Place in a plastic bag between work days so it does not dry.
Use find objects to press into coils to create extra texture and designs.

Make sure this pot dries very slowly to prevent cracking. Cover it up with plastic.