Clay coil pot workshop

Clay coil pot workshop

A whole class workshop with nine video clips and comprehensive hints and tips to allow you to replicate an artist-led workshop in your class. Artist Mike Eden leads you through making a clay pot step by step.

Key Stage:

KS2 Art National Curriculum: Primary Art.

Learning Objectives:

Pupils should be taught: to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials 1. identify the materials used in the production of earthenware pottery 2. identify techniques used in producing clay forms 3. create a simple pot using the techniques outlined on the site. 4. decorating that form 5. realise that there are contemporary artists who create art as a living....understand the motivations behind the choice of art as a career 6. to review what they and others have done, say what they think and feel about it and what they might change


The nine films show the key stages of a clay coil pot workshop which was delivered on one day by artist Mike Eden with a group of Year 6 pupils. Watch the clips and replicate the stages to produce simple or more complicated forms. If the workshop is not completed in one session the clay needs to be covered by plastic to prevent it drying out and becoming unworkable. Allowing the clay to dry slightly can help the final polishing and tidying up of the pots. The materials used is real clay, either terracotta or grey earthenware clay is fine. To make a permanent end product from this workshop the clay needs to throughly dry and be fired in a kiln. However we think the workshop works just as well using photography to record the finished pots.

Cut clay

Using wire to cut the clay.

Make ball

Using the flat of the hand to make a ball of clay.


Squeezing and turning to make the base of the pot.


Rolling a coil using the hands from finger ends to wrists.

Joining 1

Adding a new coil; cutting.

Joining 2

Methodically joining the coil to the rest of the pot.


Smoothing with a credit card.


Decorating with stamps.

End product

Talking about the finish product.

Development Activity:

Make a slip-decorated plate using our interactive activity Slipdecorator This activity shows liquid clay being chemically changed in a virtual kiln to reveal the pottery colours. You can deocrate the plates using, sponge, brishes, stamps and scraffitto tools but you can not undo. The virtual kiln takes 10 seconds to fire a similar real kiln would take 3 days to get up to tempertaure and down to a level safe to open.

Research, Notes and Links:

We have produced a lesson plan to accompany this workshop.