How to Make a Coiled Ceramic Bottle

Create a one-of-a-kind bottle featuring a colorful block pattern.

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Materials and Tools:

low-fire white modeling clay
assorted glazes
clay-carving tools
wooden paddle
sharp knife
craft knife
blue painter's tape
turntable
sponges
bucket of water
paintbrush
artist's brushes
kiln
bottle with fine needle tip

Steps:

1. Cut several slices of clay from the clay loaf with the clay cutting wire. Cut each slice into four rectangular pieces with a sharp knife.

2. Roll each rectangle of clay into a long, thin coil.

3. Form the bottle base from a ball of clay flattened into a circle. Put the base on a turntable.

4. Build the bottle by stacking coils on top of the base.

5. Smooth the clay with your fingers. Shape the bottle with a wooden paddle.

6. Let the bottle dry to the leather-hard stage. Smooth the sides with clay tools and wet sponges.

7. Carve block designs into the surface of the bottle with a needle tool.

8. Let the bottle dry completely. Re-carve the design and smooth the surface.

9. Bisque-fire the bottle in the kiln for nine hours to 1,950 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool.

10. Using black glaze in a squeeze bottle with a fine needle tip, apply the glaze to the incised pattern. Remove excess glaze with a wet sponge.

11. Glaze-fire the bottle in the kiln.

12. To prepare the bottle for the background glaze, mask off the block designs with blue painter's tape cut precisely with a craft knife. The tape must cover the area inside the carved lines of the blocks.

13. Apply the brown background glaze to the ceramic bottle with a paintbrush. Paint over the masking tape.

14. Remove the masking tape.

15. Apply three coats of colorful glazes to the block pattern with an artist's brush.

16. Place the ceramic bottle in the kiln for the final glaze firing. Remove when cool.

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