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How To Build A Coil Pot

How To Build A Coil Pot

The coil method allows you to make great pots without using a wheel. You can use coil method to build anything from a small bowl, to a huge amphora! In this step by step guide professional potter Ricky Grimes shows you how to do it.

You Will Need

  • clay
  • 1 rolling pin
  • 1 knife
  • 1 pottery turntable
  • clay slurry
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 metal kidney
  • 1 piece of wood


Start by making the flat base for your pot. Slap a piece of clay into a flat disk shape, then roll it on both sides with the rolling pin. Place you flat piece of clay on the turntable, and cut around a round shape, such as the base of a bucket. Score all the way around the circumference and paint on some clay slurry to help the coils stick.

Knead some clay, then squeeze it into a long shape. Roll the clay from the centre outwards into a snake about the thickness of your finger. Place a piece of the snake along the scored edge of the base, then use your fingers to push together the clay from the coil and the base on the outside and the inside. Use a piece of wood to check the height is even and the profile of the pot looks good.

For the second coil make a fatter snake, then flatten it out; this will give you more height. Score the top of your pot and stick this piece on in the same way as before. Depending on the shape of pot you want to make, you can angle this second coil outwards to create the pot's profile. Let the two coils stiffen up for a couple of hours, then continue in the same way.

The final thing you need to do to finish off your pot is to scrape off all the fingerprints and marks using the metal kidney. Bend it to fit the profile of the pot and scrape it with long, smooth motions.