What are the basic methods of shaping pottery?

If you know something about pottery then you would obviously know that there are two basic types of methods that you can use for shaping pottery. These are hand building and wheel throwing. This means that either you can use your hands to pinch the clay into the shape that you want or use a potter's wheel to create shapes.

However, there are also specific methods under these two brad heads too that you need to know about. Hand building includes methods like pinching, coiling, press molding, slump molding, slip molding, soft slab and hard slab. Pinching is probably the oldest method that is used where the clay is molded by pinching. The coil method uses lengths of snakes made from clay in order to create shapes by placing them on top of each other. The slipping method is used to a large extent here in order to join the snakes well. Press molding is the method in which soft slabs or coils are used to create concave molds and slump molding is the exact opposite of press molding.

The wheel throwing method includes throwing directly on the wheel head or the bat and throwing off the hump. In the former method the wedged clay is centered and coned and then thrown into a circular shape. The shape is given to the pot and then it is cut off the wheel. The latter method is used more commonly with those creating a larger number of pieces of the same design.



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