I have taken it into my head to start making coiled pots; it’s about six years since I spent a week coiling one very large storage jar at the tinajaria in Spain, and it was not something that particularly excited me in relation to my own practice. but recently I was intrigued to watch a short video of Gordon Baldwin working in his studio, coiling and the wonderful shapes he made. also I had seen a clip of a Korean potter making moon jars, and loved the bellied shapes.

1 first attempt

so the first coiled effort was similar to a moon jar. I started upside down at the widest point, closed the form in gently and waited until it was stiff enough to turn right way up without collapsing,

1 2 coils

then continued up the rest of the form. this method really works for me.

1 base process

I can use a round batt to make sure the form is symmetrical – or not.

1 coiling

the damp cold winter weather means that I can leave a pot to stiffen overnight without covering it up.

1 coil

and coils can wait for use, though actually I don’t make many, sometimes just one at a time. I have found that it works better for me if I flatten them before attaching. this method is miles away from the technique my friends at Moreno Léon use.

1 first attempt neck

I am using a toothed kidney tool to scrape and flatten, in most cases leaving the scraped texture

1 st 1 neck

as a form of decoration.

1 st t part

I love the big swelling shapes of the two I finished today

1 st thomas2

I used all but a bag of white St Thomas for the two – the one above is thirteen inches high

1 st 1 side view

this one is seventeen inches high, with swelling belly on one side, the other side almost flat.

1 fave small

this smaller one about twelve inches.

1 base

I have made some in the pink grogged stoneware too

1 st 1 and 2 day 2

but the st Thomas is loveliest to work with.

1 st 2 upsidedown

it is a contemplative method, and you have to be patient with the coils, and careful to stop working before the form sags, to give it time to stiffen up.

1 st 1 part

I have been making them as light and fine as I dare, so they have got more refined since the first one. A new group of pieces, something very different for me.

1 completed bottle

what glazes to use? I don’t think the chun is suitable, I would prefer a drier glaze that is more closely sunk into the surface. so maybe some engobe glazes, like slips, and some oxide washes sponged off to stay only in the depressions.