Pottery making techniques

How to make pottery? 3 simple hand-building techniques!

Making a piece of pottery is quite thrilling and enjoyable for beginners. No matter what kind of person you are, with the proper tools, techniques, and instructions you can polish your skills as an excellent potter.

Excellent pottery is always a matter of practice and perfection. So, do not engage yourself in making something excellent and extraordinary for the very first time. Try to capture the art at a slow pace and invest your skill in it.

But if you are roaming around to give pottery a go but don’t know how to start, then you are at the right place. I will explore pottery and introduce you to the basic concept of it. So, move ahead with the flow.

How Do You Make Simple Pottery?

Pottery is nothing but a piece of ceramic material enclosed with different pottery wares like stoneware, earthenware, porcelain.

To make simple pottery there are many things you need to learn. I have guided it step by step.

Equipment You Need to Know About:

  • Clay: A fine-grained earth that can be shaped by choice when it is wet.
  • Kilns: A type of oven used to dry a slum of clay and turn it into a ceramic piece.

Tools You Need to Start Pottery:

  • Needles: To measure thickness & pierce the clay
  • Wire: To divide the clay into chunks
  • Sponges: For shaping & cleaning the surfaces
  • Fettling knives: To separate molds, trim & pierce
  • Ribbon tools: To trim & carve
  • Brushes: For glazing
  • Chamois cloth: To compress the clay
  • Calipers: To measure the distance between two sides
  • Scrapers & ribs: For final smoothing
  • Apron & towels

Pottery Using a Wheel (Wheel-thrown Method):

In wheel-thrown pottery, you need to have some knowledge about how the wheel works & how to control the clay shape while it’s circling. Also, you might get disappointed at the first few attempts because until you master wheel-thrown pottery, you cannot get flawless results.

As a beginner, I recommend that you pursue hand-built pottery to get a grasp of the art gradually.

Pottery wheel 2022
Potter using a wheel: Source

Pottery Without a Wheel (Hand-thrown Method):

Using only a piece of clay you can make simple and decorative pottery with your hands and this is the most convenient hand-built method.

Here you will see three simple hand-building techniques – 

  • Coil Pot: 
  1. To make a simple and basic free-standing coil pot, first roll out some clay using a roller until it forms a large roll.
  2. Then, using a needle cut a circle from the slab & roll out the coil according to the width of your finger.
  3. Join the coil to the base. And then, add one coil on top of another coil. Repeat this process as per the shape you want to form.
  4. Finally, keep your pottery dry slowly.
  • Pinch Pot:
  1. Take some clay and roll it into a ball shape.
  2. Press your thumb into the clay by supporting it with another hand.
  3. After that, you can shape the clay into a pot or bowl by pressing with your thumb and fingers.
  • Slab Pot:

Slab pots can be of various shapes- rectangular, square, cylindrical. Here you will get a clear view of making a slab pot-

  1. Roll your clay into a slab using a roller.
  2. Cut the clay according to your desired design.
  3. Then, attach a wall to the base of the clay. And repeat it with the rest.
  4. Al last, let it harden overnight.

What Is the Easiest Pottery to Make?

If you are a beginner and want to make pottery at home, then I will recommend you to use stoneware clay. This is the most versatile clay & makes your work easier.

Using clay, you can make a variety of items such as – coffee mug, coil bowl, lidded box, vessels, juicer, candle holder, egg cups, planter, cake stands, etc. You can use pottery for your makeover as well. How? – By making ceramic jewelry.

In all, bowls are the coolest and easiest pottery to create. As bowls are naturally round, so when the wheel starts to spin, it forces the clay out and makes a bowl shape. So, you don’t need to put extra effort to make it.

Bowls can be used for many purposes and they are so simple and time-saving to make. 

Pottery Ideas for Gardens:

Pottery is the most refreshing idea to adorn your garden however you want. Whether you have less space or less money, whatever the case may be, it does not matter to dress up your garden with wonderful pots of different colors and shapes.

Here are some pottery ideas for you to ease your worry about garden planters-

  • To make an interesting and unique garden look you may use wooden pottery. But you must check that the wood planters are lined with plastic to save the external wood from getting rotten while watering.
  • If your garden is small in size you can decorate it with vine-type plants. And for this, hanging planters are the most suitable option. These planters will reflect an aesthetic view of your garden.
  • For a large garden, stone/concrete-based pottery is the perfect option as it creates a bold look and makes the garden more eye-catching. Also, this is less expensive.
  • Together, the slab container and bright, colorful flowers provide a nice contrast of textures that makes the garden more vibrant.
  • Plastic pots are another good example of a garden planter. These are quite inexpensive, waterproof, and very much flexible to carry.

To make the garden more attractive, you can add some artwork on garden potteries like sculpture design, geometric patterns, strip designs, etc.  Also, you can use colorful stands of different shapes to keep the potteries on these & create a cinematic homely charm.

Glazing is another way of decorating the planters to give them a smooth and crystal surface.


Making pottery is always a fun fact whether you choose it professionally or as a hobby. So, if you are new to it, don’t worry, just follow the above guidelines and start to splash with clay.

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