Christine and Robert standing next to large pot.
Christine and Robert standing next to large pot.


For many potters, the goal is to make a large pot. Below you will find the technique Robert currently uses.

Robert begins by centering a 20-pound piece of wedged clay on the heel.

Stiffening The Clay

This technique works best when coils are even and soft. The lower section of the pot must be dried sufficiently, to support additional coils. You can see our apprentice, Bryan, using a torch to heat a freshly thrown form. Once the clay stiffens he will add more coils without fear of the walls collapsing. The process is repeated after each coil has been thrown.

Rolling a coil

Rolling a Coil

Coils are rolled on a canvas-covered table. Robert has found that coils that are rolled tend to be more plastic than extruded coils. With a little practice, a six-foot coil can be rolled in just a couple of minutes.

The coil is supported on Robert's shoulder to prevent it from stretching.

Adding a Coil

A soft coil is easy to work on to the rim of a pot that has been firmed with a torch.

Working the coil

Working in the Coil

Once the coil is in place, he works to join the coil to the pot.

Raising the coil

Raising The Coil

Using as little water as possible, Robert pulls the wall higher and uses ribs to shape the contour.

Adding a Handle

Adding a Handle

Once the last section is complete, handles are added and the covered jar is finished. This can all be done in one session using heat to dry the pot, as needed.

Finished Giant Pots

Here are some of the many large pots Robert has made over the years.