Pottery: Handbuilding, Part 1

I’ve wanted to try out pottery for a long time, perhaps from curiosity, if not anything else. In addition, I like making practical and useful things, and with pottery, I could make cups, mugs, plates, bowls, vases, etc. That’s a lot of stuff.

I asked an artist and potter friend to recommend a place for me to learn pottery, and she gave me the contact, but I did not call immediately. After a while, other things came into the picture and the idea was relegated to the back-burner.

Then this year, another friend took up pottery, and it turned out that she went to the same place recommended earlier by my artist friend. So, I finally signed up for pottery classes! The classes were held at Clay Expressions in Subang.

We started off with handbuilding techniques. In my first class, I attempted to make a small vase. By the second class, I started to get the hang of it. I had a fun time making a large jug, consisting of a big, fat puffer fish sitting on swirly waves. LOL. I thought it was a cute fellow. 🙂

I made this large puffer fish jug by hand. Completed in a day on 2 August 2014.
I made this large puffer fish jug using the handbuilding technique on 2 August 2014.


It had to be air-dried first. After it was completely dry, it was fired once, and glazed after that. It was fired a second time to set the glaze. I chose a blue glaze for the water and waves, and a greenish brown for the fish. After the firing, I discovered the fish was more brown than green. Oh, well…


Nice blue and brown glaze
Side view of finished puffer fish jug. Nice blue and brown glaze.


Front of the puffer fish jug
Front view of the puffer fish jug.


In my third class, I made a lotus vase, which was basically a wide-mouthed handbuilt vase with a life-sized 3D lotus inside. Look inside and… surprise! 🙂


With a 3D lotus inside.
Top view of lotus vase. It was completed in a day on 23 August 2014.


View from another angle
Top view – another angle showing the side of the heavy lotus flower. Cindy, the instructor, suggested that I cut 1/3 of the flower off and stick it onto the inside of the vase. Turned out very well.


Hand-built lotus vase, finished in a day, on 23 August 2014.
Side view of the hand-built lotus vase.


The lotus vase has not been glazed yet. I will post photos of it after it has been glazed. 🙂

In my fourth class, I made a salad bowl with a flower-inspired rim. The rim consisted of double layers of petal shapes. I will post photos of it after glazing too. 🙂

~ Hui Min ~