The art of applying a handle to your pot is quite satisfying and comical to some…

There are extruders that you can buy to make uniform strips of clay for handles but I much prefer to “pull” my handles from a lump of clay. The process is a bit comical – almost like milking a cow as you start to pull / stretch a length of clay from the lump. 

Plenty of water is required and the cross section of the handle strip you are pulling is determined by the shape you are able to make with your hand / fingers as you pull the clay downwards.

The handle strip after pulling must be left to dry for a while before it can be applied to the pot. It needs to be rigid enough to hold shape when you bend and apply it to the pot body. The contact area on the pot must be scratched first and some thick clay slip (i.e. a mixture of water and clay) applied over the area. 

The handle is presented to the pot and pressed into position with the slip acting like glue between the two surfaces. The curve of the handle shape is now finalised as you create the contact point for the other end of the strip.

The same routine of scratching and applying the slip is followed before pressing the other end of the handle strip to the body.


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