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Weave a Pottery Basket

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Get Ready to Weave a Pottery Basket
An earthenware basket made using coils and a ceramic Easter egg.

An earthenware basket made using coils and a ceramic Easter egg.

Photo © 2009 Beth E Peterson

Perfect for spring flowers, Easter eggs, or any other place you would use a basket, this pottery basket is less likely than traditional baskets to mold, mildew, or shed plant material. It is also a fun project to do with children, as beginner's project, or as a break from more traditional coil-built pots.

This pottery basket is made by weaving clay coils, much as traditional reed baskets are made. For this project you will need

  • About five pounds of soft (but not sticky) clay. In our example, I used a red earthenware with 5% grog added. Grogged clay bodies are good for large baskets, but not necessary for smaller ones.
  • A hump mold, which could be nothing more than a bowl turned upside down, and something for it to stand on, such as a tall box.
  • A surface to roll coils on. This could be a plaster bat, a piece of canvas, or a cement work surface. If the clay is not too soft, you might also be able to use a very smooth table top.
  • Optional: A turntable such as a banding wheel or lazy susan.
  • Optional: A wooden modeling tool.
  • Optional: Glaze. You can leave the basket unglazed for a more natural appearance and feel, or you can glaze it. Remember that the glaze should match the clay body's maturation. For our example, a clear transparent glaze was used.

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