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How to Make and Attach Handles

Handles are not only functional for lifting, but they are also pleasing to look at.
Pulling the handle and attaching it involves making some decisions about size and shape.
A handle should always be strong enough to support the weight of the piece.
And if it will be used to carry things like a pitcher of water, the handle should be strong enough to lift the piece plus its contents.

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Attaching handles to a coffee mug

Making Handle

Begin with a ball of clay, take the clay and pat it into the shape of a carrot.

Pulling Clay

Wet the clay and your hand and begin pulling the clay into a long handle in a stroking fashion.
You can not do this in one pull.
Pulling a handle may take fifty pulls or more.
Each pull will make the handle just a little longer.

Let Handle Sit To Firm Up

After the handle is the correct size, let the handle firm up, by placing it off the edge of a table.
This handle has been lifted back to the top so that the curve of the handle will already be made when the handle firms up.

Attaching Handle

When the piece you are attaching the handle to is leather hard and when the handle is firm you can attach the handle.


Using a sharp pencil or a needle tool, scratch crisscross marks on the piece where the handle will be attached.

Press Handles Into Place

Scratch the handle with crisscross marks where it will attach to the piece and press the top of the handle in place.
It is a good idea to put slip on both pieces before pressing it on.
Some potters use white vinegar on the attachment areas.
Attach the bottom of the handle the same way you attached the top of the handle.

When the handle is attached, smooth out the attachment areas with a wet finger.

To minimize the chances of your handle cracking, you may need to dry your mugs under a piece of plastic or in a damp box.

Now that you know how to pull handles, you'll find yourself making pitchers and coffee pots and tea cups. The principles are the same-only the sizes and shapes of the pottery handles change.

Flat handles are comfortable to hold, but not all handles need be flat. Try making round, square, and triangular handles for special pieces. Shape your handles accordingly before pulling, then maintain the shape by the way you hold your fingers during the pull.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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