What is a Coil Pot?
Coiling is the process of
building up the wall of a pot
by snaking a rope of clay in
circles, one on top of the
In the image on the right, the
pot takes advantage of its
coils and makes it an
interesting design feature.
The gaps between the coils
are sometimes filled in so the
pot has smooth sealed walls.
Leaving space between the joints
of a coil pot.
Can be symmetrical
or odd shaped
Can be small or very
Can use a variety of
• Make the bottom how ever big you want to make it.
• Then you start off by rolling your clay out into a coil.
• After your all done rolling out your coils start scratching and slipping the
coils around what ever base you decided to make.
• When doing a coil pot you can change the way its going to look by
moving the coil closer to the edge. That will make it bigger, or you can
make it smaller by putting it closer to the inside of the pot.
• Keep on doing the same process in till you think it’s the right size.
Pressed Coil Pot
1. You start off by rolling coils or what ever design you want to do.
2. Then you roll a few long coils and put them around the smaller coils.
3. Now you join them together by adding clay and smoothing it out.
4. Take the bottom that you made for you pot and join them together with slip. Make
sure you scratch the surface.
5. Now all you have to do is do the final touches.
History of Pot Making.
Because these early pinch pots could only carry small amounts of
water and food, the next stage in the history of pot making was coil
People began to make their pinch
pots bigger by adding on coils of
clay to the rims of the pots.
*Japan’s Jōmon people, who thrived from
10,000 to 300 BC, made distinctive pottery
for boiling, steaming, and storing food. The
pots were made with coils of clay and then
decorated by rolling carved sticks, plant
fibers, or braided cords over the outer
• Michael Hardy
Pot on far right.
• Monica Young
Both of these artists
cover up the coils
in their pots with an
extra layer of clay.
A smooth surface is
Brenda Glacier, a bay area sculptor…
uses only coils
Traditional Greek Style Coil Pots
Coils are smoothed out
Using the coils as part of the
visual and textural design.
Abstract or Geometric…
symmetry or asymmetry
Non-existent coils or partially obvious
Functional or sculptural?
Texture and coils
Coils and “buttons”
Functional and sculptural
A little bit this and little bit that
Cut out sections- SLAB & Coil
Celtic Coil Pottery
Relief and Coil
How to start!
Project: Coil Pottery
1. Can be Sculptural and/or functional
2. Atleast ¼ of it must use coil technique.
-how you incorporate this and the concept of the artwork is up to
3. 2 sketches, ideas and any reference images you may need are
Due on Thursday! I will be absent on Tues. & Thurs. next week
4. Remember – No copying images or artists!