How to Make Your Own Coffee Cups

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Coffee cups can be thrown, cast, slab built and put together in any number of other ways. The easiest way to make coffee cups, however, is to coil build them. Coils of clay are easy to work with, and useful for creating a rounded organic shape like a coffee cup.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Clay tools
  • Oven
  • Kiln
  • Knead your clay to get all the air bubbles out of it. If it seems too dry, add a little water and knead it into the clay.

  • Put a little water in the bottom of the bowl. Add clay until you get a wet, slimy goo. This extremely wet clay is called slip, and it is an important tool in making ceramics.

  • Roll out a flat slab of clay with a rolling pin, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut a circular piece out of it using a kitchen knife, clay knife or other tool. Clear the rest of the slab away. This flat circle is the base of your cup.

  • Roll a noodle of clay a little bit less than an inch thick and run it in a circle on top of the base. Keep coiling it around on top of itself until you use up the noodle.

  • Put some slip on your fingers and smooth the coil into a wall. Mush it against the base so it makes a smooth seam.

  • Add another coil and smooth it down again. Keep building until you get to the top of your cup.

  • Roll out a thicker coil of clay for the handle. Make small hash marks on the ends of it and on the places where you want to join it to the cup. Then put a little slip on it, stick it on the cup and smooth the join down with your fingers. This is called scoring and slipping, and it is used to make a stronger connection.

  • Cure the clay. Depending on the type you used, you may be able to bake it in a kitchen oven or you may have to fire it in a kiln.

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