Steps For Making a Handbuilt Cup

  1. 1. Rolled conditioned clay into a 1/8” inch thick slab.
  2. 2. Cut the slab into a 10” by 4.5” rectangle.
  3. 3. With a small brayer, roll a rounded edge on the right side and top edges of your slab.
  4. 4. Turn the rectangular cup blank upside down, and roll the opposite side of the same edges that were rolled round in Step 3.
  5. 5. DO NOT roll the bottom edge of the cup – it should be square to meet the cup bottom closely.
  6. 6. Use stamps and rollers to decorate your cup blank, if desired.
  7. 7. If the rectangle was stretched or altered when the pattern was added, return it to the correct 10” x 4.5” dimension.
  8. 8. With the brayer, thin the left side of the cup blank – working from the bottom to the middle, and from the top to the middle – so the cup blank is not distorted.
  9. 9. Using a serrated rib dipped in water, score the left side of the cup blank.  The scoring should be about ½” wide.
  10. 10. Carefully turn the cup blank over, and score the underside of the right side of the rectangle.
  11. 11. Drape the cup blank over the mailing tube section and conform all parts of the cup blank to the tube as demonstrated.
  12. 12. Slip the curved cup blank off the mailing tube, and stand it on its’ bottom.
  13. 13. Carefully mate the join – right side over left side – and press the two scored and moistened edges together.  The mailing tube can be inserted to offer resistance to gentle pressure from the brayer.
  14. 14. Invert the up and measure the bottom with a round cutter, then cut a clay circle of appropriate size.  It is better for the cup bottom to be slightly oversize than undersize.
  15. 15. Score the bottom of the cup with the serrated rib, then score the outer ¼” of the cut clay circle.
  16. 16. Place the bottom circle on the inverted cup, and smooth the join with your finger, or a sponge, as demonstrated.
  17. 17. Place the cup right side up to dry.  Correct the shape to true round by eye, or by using a regular round tapered form (plastic cup or container).
  18. 18. Inspect the “state of roundness” and refine the bottom join several times while the clay is still soft enough to manipulate.
  19. 19. When the cup is stiff but has not begun to change color, attach a handle.