The coiling technique has been used to create a variety of pottery forms for thousands of years and there is a reason why it remains popular today – it’s one of the easiest pottery techniques to learn and master. Here we will discuss the origins of the technique, why it’s a good technique to use, and how to create large pottery using the coiling technique.
Jomon Pottery: The Origins of Coiling
According to archaeologists, the technique originated in the Jomon period in Japan and was used to create Jomon pottery which is characterised by a distinctive rope or cord pattern. The Jomon period is the earliest historical era of Japanese history beginning around 14,500 BCE and ending around 300 BCE when the Yayoi period began. During the Jomon period, Japan was inhabited by hunter-gatherers and as a culture reached a significant degree of sedentism and complexity.
The oldest discovered Jomon pottery pieces have been dated to approximately 14,500 BCE and the history of coiling in Europe has its origins in Greece where the technique became popular in approximately 2,500 BCE. Later popularised across Africa, ancient Northern America, and China, the coiling technique is still widely used today.
Why to Use the Coiling Technique
In considering why coiling is still a popular pottery technique today, we have to understand that the technique allows a high level of flexibility during creation and the work is very stable as it is built up coil by coil – which allows for plenty of breaks to enjoy online slots Canada. The technique also allows for a piece to be built up slowly with complete control in the potter’s hands. Owing to the slow pace of the work, coiling has also largely been described as a therapeutic process and many consider it to be almost meditative.
Using the coiling technique, it becomes possible to create sturdy structures with thick walls and owing to the strength it also becomes a lot easier to create pieces with height as it remains rigid throughout.
How to Make a Pot Using Coiling
Here’s how you too can create a large pot using coiling:
- Roll out a large slab of stoneware or earthenware clay to ¼ inch thicker than you would like the width of the pot to be.
- Cut the slab into pieces of 2 inches wide and if you’re creating your pot from the bottom up, you’ll need to cut a thick base from clay to attach the coils to.
- Once you’ve cut a large circular base from clay, score the edges and then use a slip to attach your first coil to the base.
- Keep layering coils on top of each other to create height and you can create as many levels as you like.
- If you’re making a very big pot, allow the first rows of coiling to dry to leather hard before continuing to ensure strength.
- Throughout the building process, smooth the outside of the walls with a damp sponge and a rib to conceal the seams.
You’ve just created a pot using coiling!