Pottery 101: Hand Building Techniques To Learn

02.12.21 4 min read

So, you've finally got your hands on the Pottery Starter Kit from noah, now it's time to dig into that clay and let your creativity overflow into marvellous muddy creations. Perhaps this is the very first time you've worked with clay or maybe, like some of us fortunate enough to have messed around with pottery at school, you're simply picking up a fun but long lost hobby again. Whatever spark of inspiration landed you here at Beyond The Box, there's little to no doubt you'll be craving a fresher course on where to start, or more appropriately, how to start building those marvellous creations currently swimming round your head.
Watch the video and follow along with our resident expert Cameron.
First and foremost you'll need to clear a safe and comfortable working space at home, the office or your friends house, enough space to make a mess and not regret the clean up effort once you're done. Next step is getting familiar with the key building techniques every potter should know. There's only a few you need to get started, but as you begin to use each of them (separately and together) you'll see the application limits are endless... So let's get building!


An old faithful technique you'll likely use the most. Keep it simple: start with a ball and pinch it upwards into your vessel. Smooth any cracks with water or slip as you work.
Be sure to checkout noah's How To Make A Pinchpot for the complete step-by-step guide.


Remember making clay snakes in class? It's not much different. Add coils to a slab base to quickly build a vessel. Don’t forget to slip and score! Keep the coils or smooth it out… Your choice.
Keen to try a coiled creation? Checkout noah's How To Make A Coil Pot for a step-by-step guide.


For the perfectionist who loves a flat and even surface. Use a rolling pin (or bottle!) to roll out an even slab. For strength, don’t go thinner than 5mm and smooth out any cracks that form.
Fancy your hands at making a slab vessel? Checkout How To Make A Slab Pot for the full guide.


Thanks to Cameron, our expert pottery contributor and your guide to getting leg up Beyond The Box, here's a quick highlights reel of the key techniques in action.