as usual, it has taken me three or four pots to get into the swing of making some really big pieces

1 pieces

I rolled out a whole bag of clay, but in two pieces because I reckoned that I want it twice as wide and the same height as the previous tall pots. also the bigger the lump of clay the harder it is to get it the same thickness all the way through the slab. after cutting the two main piece I used the trimmed off bits and joined them up to make top and bottom.

1 cutting bottom

I’m using the earthstone pizza and sculpture clay, it’s really an off-white crank which shrinks very little and is tough, so the slab will stand up and make a really big pot without being too thick. it was a little soft to handle still.

1 flattened cylinder

got the base on without turning it upside down – that’s impossible at this scale … and on a handy piece of kiln shelf to make it easy to move around – and keep the bottom sitting on a nice flat surface.

1 the top

top cut out

1 before beating

top on

1 without neck

and paddled into shape

1 first finisheda

neck on, flange added and a bit of scoring to finish it off. quite pleased, though I fear I need another row of bricks on my kiln to get this in.

1 first

maybe it will shrink enough.

3 clay too wet

the next effort nearly had an accident – the clay was softer and I couldn’t get it to stand up by itself, so an old pot was needed to make a support.

3 the next one

it turned out okay, a softer shape. I combed it for a change. the last firing did some nice things over this.

2 the black one

a third effort, not so wide, a whole bagful of the black clay (it fires black, but is full of oxides, probably mostly manganese, so is very dark red when raw) this clay was even softer, and developed a bit of a sway back. I found I had bought the least grogged version of this clay, so actually not very suitable for making a very big pot.


the last one was definitely the best, the weather was crisp, sunny, and windy, and the slabs dried to exactly the right stiffness for the job.

1no4 big one

now I have to mix up large amounts of slip and chun glaze so that I can keep it in plastic dustbins which will be wide and deep enough for dipping these big pieces.