Hand-building is the earliest, most individualized and direct forming method. It literally stands for ‘building something with the hand’. It is slower and more gradual than wheel-throwing but it offers the potter a high degree of control over the size and shape of wares. Most commonly used hand-building techniques are:
• Slab and
Coiling is done by rolling clay in between the palms or on a flat surface. Pots can be made by forming these coils and putting them on top of each other, joining them with slip (a runny mix of clay and water). The base of the pot can be prepared by making a round slab. Gaps between coils need to be filled up with wet clay. Two adjacent coil rings can be joined better by marking vertical lines between them. Any detailing or textures can be added to the pot to make it further interesting!
Clay can be rolled out into thin slabs by a rolling pin on an even platform. These are usually made on either a plastic sheet or fabric so that it doesn’t stick to the table top and can be lifted easily. Pots can be made by combining these in different ways. A lot of other things like wind-chimes and fridge magnets can be made too.
Hollow ball technique is used to make pots or utilitarian things (like piggy bank, toothbrush holder etc.) that are hollow. This is done by slicing a clay ball in two halves, scooping out clay from two hemispheres and joining them to form a whole. Walls of the two hollow halves are pricked and slip is applied on them to join well. Sometimes a coil is applied along this joint for strength. Then, sponging and smoothening out is done to make it look well finished. Detailing can be done at this stage.