There are many different ways to make a bowl! Bowls can be as unique as the people making them.
- Create a functional form that can be used as intended
- Show growing skills in working with clay, as they apply to the methods used (e.g. working with slab; using molds/forms; wheel throwing)
- Show willingness to try new methods and techniques
- Create a quality finished product, paying special attention to food safety, usability, smoothing, even thickness, and a level bottom
- What kind of bowl do you want to make? What will it be used for (e.g. soup, candy, fruit, jewellery)?
- What size and shape do you want it? How wide and deep should it be?
- What method do you want to use? See some examples below, or use your own.
- What kind of bottom will it have (flat, coil foot, tripod, etc.)?
- How will you make it interesting (texture, design, add-ons, etc.)? Check out these gorgeous bowls with leaf impressions.
Check out these interesting shapes by Icelandic ceramic artist Kristín Garðarsdóttir:
- Clay shrinks as it dries. If you are using a mold, you need to think carefully about when to remove your clay from it. For example, your bowl will break into pieces if you leave it on a hump mold too long.
- Gravity. You need to support the shape of your bowl as it’s drying, or it’ll sag and flatten. If you are not using a mold, or after you have taken it out of a mold, you can use sponges, balled up newspaper or anything else that will gently support the shape of your bowl. You can support it right-way-up (place supports under the outside edges) or upside-down (place supports inside).
Bowl Methods – Tutorials
Paper Template Bowl
Hump Mold Bowl – Watch from 2:05 – 6:35
Draped Bowl – Watch from 2:00
Slump Mold Bowl – Watch 1:20 to 5:06
Make Your Own Slump Mold
Loosely Formed Slump Mold Bowl with Bucket
Pinch Pot Bowl with Coil Foot