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Welcome to your Clay at Home workshop!

I recommend you watch all the videos in order, as you work through each part of the workshop. They’re divided into steps so you can rewatch any that you need a refresher on.

Please let me know if anything is unclear or you need some help. Send your questions and feedback to my email or DM me on Instagram and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’ll be adding to the Tips and Tricks below so check back and see if your question has been answered here too.

Happy making!

  • 01. Smile, breathe and go slowly

    The reason that I started to do pottery was because I was looking for a way to be able to get my mind off of all of the stress and anxiety that I was experiencing at the time. My lifestyle was really unbalanced, I knew I had to slow down but it was really difficult. One of the things that I did was enrol in a pottery class. When my hands were in the clay, my mind was quiet and so calm. That's my hope for you is that you while you make your cup. That you have the same experience, being so immersed in what you're doing that you don't think about anything else.

  • 01. Your pottery tools

    The great thing about hand built pottery is that you don't need a lot of equipment. I started with Winterwares with a few basic tools and worked from my kitchen table at home. When you have made your cup you will need to fire it in a kiln to use it. You can't bake it in the oven at home, it needs to be cooked to 1280ºC

    You could get away with doing this class with a flat surface and your hands. But you do have some tools in your kit that will make things easier.

    • Wooden modelling tools – for blending and smoothing
    • Pin tool – for cutting and scoring
    • Wooden and metal rib tools – smoothing and shaping
    • Loop tool – for sculpting
    • Wire cutter 
    • Sponge
  • 02. Prepare the base

    WIth coil building, we start with a base and build up the walls by layering coils to build the walls. I love coil building, it's a slow pace, perfect for beginners and it's very forgiving.

    1. Wooden modelling tools – for blending and smoothing
    2. Break off a bit of clay the size of a small apricot.
    3. Roll it into a ball in your hands.
    4. Using a rolling pin if you have one, roll it out like pastry to be 5mm thick. If you don't have a rolling pin, press it out flat with your hands.
    5. You might see air bubbles in your clay. Use the pin tool to pop break the bubbles and the rib tool to smooth the clay over again
    6. With your pin tool, cut a circle that will be your base.
    7. Around the border of your circle, use the pin tool to score the border of your circle, by scratching small lines in a cross hatch pattern. We score the surface of the clay so that the clay pieces stay together when we join them.
  • 03. Roll coils

    Break off a small piece of clay and roll out a rope of clay. Remember making snakes from play-doh? It's just like that!

    Roll out lots of ropes the thickness of your pinky finger and around 15cm long.
  • 04. Make the base

    • Score the clay coils on the top using your pin tool.
    • Lay one coil around the circumference of your circle base.
    • Using the large paddle-pop stick, press the inner edge of the coil into the base. When you're done it will look like a flower. 
    • With your thumb, smooth out the bumps you just made.
    • With your fingers or the large paddle-pop stick, close up the seam line around the base.å
  • 05. Build your cup

    • Score the coils and add them layer by layer to build the height of your cup
    • You don't have to score every one, if you enjoy the process, do them all, if you don't like scoring, you can skip that part and layer them without scoring. 
  • 06. Smooth & shape

    Spend a bit of time on this part, smoothing and shaping your cup to make it beautiful and comfortable to drink from.

    • Use the wooden or metal rib tool to smooth all around the outside of the cup.
    • Use can use your fingers to smooth it too. 
    • If there are grooves that you can't smooth out, add a small, soft bit of clay into the groove and smooth it over. 
    • Smooth the inside and the outside. 
    • Use the needle tool to cut around the top of the cup to make it flatter and straighter.
    • To refine the rim, press the rim with your fingers to make it thinner. The sponge is helpful to smooth out the top edge of the rim.
    • If it's too wet and wobbly to shape, let it dry for ten minutes and come back to it.
  • 08. Adding a handle

    Adding a handle is optional, it comes down to personal taste and what kind of cup you like to drink from.

    • Break off a little piece of clay about the size of a small apricot.
    • Roll it into a rope around 10cm long.
    • Wet your fingertips and smooth out lumps and bumps and folds.
    • Curve the rope into a C shape and leave it aside, uncovered to firm up.
    • Score the ends of the handle.
    • Dip the ends in water.
    • Line up the handle onto your cup and press the ends into the side of the cup where your want it to join.
    • Use the small paddle pop stick to smooth the edges and press it in.
  • 08. Your finished cup

    When your cup is finished it needs to be fired to be useable.

    • If you're in Western Australia, return your cup to the Winterwares studio in Fremantle.
    • If you're in Western Australia, return your cup to the Winterwares studio in Fremantle.

Q & A

What surface should I work on?

You don't need much space to make your cup and clay is easy to clean up. A kitchen table or counter top is perfect, If you have a plastic placemat you can work on that, or use the cardboard that came in the kit. Work somewhere that you wouldn't mind a bit of water splashing

How quickly do I need to bring it back to be fired?

There's no hurry to bring it back, your cup can sit for months and months before it gets fired.

I have extra clay can I make something else?

Yes! Make whatever you like.

I want to make more! Can I get extra clay?

Yes! You can buy extra clay through my online store.