Franklin Matters: 1st Annual

Making ceramic Bowls

Adding Handles
To make a handle, roll out a small coil, tapering the shape to have thick ends and a thinner middle. Before adding any water, flatten the handle and further pinch with a light, even pressure to get the shape right. Next, with a wet hand, begin to pull and stretch the clay between your fingers, rotating it from front to back so the handle has even thickness on both sides. Repeat the process for two handles. Let them set up to where they are not sticky. Once they have set up for a few minutes, take the thick bottom ends of each handle and push in, making it concave (5). This allows the clay to stretch over the inside and outside of the rim. Score both ends of the handles and a section of the rim where it’s to be attached and firmly press the two points together (6).

Prior to Glazing
Once the bowl is bisque fired, roll a pinch of clay into a ball. With one finger covering one side of a hole, press the ball of clay into the hole (7). Repeat this process until all holes are filled. This allows you to use a separate glaze on the inside without it spilling through to the outside. At this point, you can begin glazing. Once you have glazed the inside and outside, push the dried clay out of the holes with a needle tool. Clean the inside of the holes with a small, round bristle brush making sure no glaze or clay remains inside the holes. Be careful not to use a runny glaze or it will fill the holes.

Lauren Smith is an studio artist and instructor living in Great Falls, Montana. She completed her MFA at the University of North Texas (Denton) in 2011 and has participated in multiple artist residency programs, including the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana, and Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.

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