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Coiling & Slabwork

Hello My Friends!


Welcome to Week 2!   We will be working with 2 methods this week, coiling and slab-building.


The first method is coiling.  In this video I wanted to make something less precise so my coils were of different sizes and widths.




The second method is slab building.  This week we are building another organic form, using soft slabs.



Tips and tricks:



If your coil flattens as you make it, simply hold the coil at each end and twist in opposite directions.  This will also give your coil more strength.

Try braiding three coils together to add visual interest.

A flattened coil is simply a large rounded coil that has been flattened out.  It speeds up the making process and is similar to the slabbing process.

Try using the inside of a bowl lined with newspaper or covered with an old nylon.  When the clay dries it will shrink and come out easily.


Slab Forming:


Soft slabs are for softer more organic-type forms.  They can be wrapped around objects like toilet paper rolls or formed in a sling.   Always cover objects with newspaper or fabric.  If you don’t do this the clay will stick making it almost impossible to remove.

Hard slabs are allowed to dry to the leather-hard stage before being used.  Boxes and more angular sharp edged forms are constructed this way.

If your joins are not securely attached they will open or crack.  Use your metal scraper or kidney to blend the edges together.  (silicone rolling pins are great for this if you have one)

The thickness of the clay must be even as inconsistencies will cause uneven drying, warping and cracking.



Try coiling a pot and slabbing one too.  Try making a coiled or slabbed piece around a paper towel roll and inside a bowl.  Lots of projects you can do this week.

Keep a couple pieces of rolled out slabs to get used to the feel as it dries.  For our project next week you will need to construct a box and knowing the consistency will be useful.  You want the clay to stiffen up so it is not moveable when you touch it, but not too dry as your pieces won’t bond together.

Roll out about 10 slabs for a box and keep them under plastic until next week.  If they start to dry out, mist them with water.  Please check them every couple days.

Roll out a couple coils about 1-2 inches in diameter and 6 inches long.  You will make our own rollers for texture and repeating pattern.  When these are leather hard, drill holes into them, or carve lines and pattern.  You can always test your design on a slab after it has dried.   On one end, make a stamp with your initial or design.  This will be used as your chop, your mark to sign your pieces with.


I could go on and on and give you more but I think you will have a busy week.  Have fun!


Of course I would love to hear how you are doing!!!