Amanda Cotton Workshop learning how to coil at home

Earlier on in the year I went along to learn how to make a bowl using a potters wheel courtesy of Amanda Cotton Workshop and I enjoyed it so much. So when I heard that she was giving pottery coiling classes during lock-down which can be done at home via online I just had to book a class along with friends.

Pottery is a great way to relieve you of any stresses and worries in life and also is a great health benefit as crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain. It can may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by ageing.

Pottery is also a great exercise for the hands, wrists, and arms. The movement of making pottery is gentle yet strengthening to the hands, wrists, and arms. This can be beneficial to those prone to arthritis in the hands, as it promotes joint movement and dexterity.

Amanda Cotton Workshop

Amanad Cotton

Amanda is an artist creating mementos for the inspired teaching creative skills to those wishing to learn how to do pottery. Her passion for conceptual art began back in 2007. In 2013 she graduated with a Masters in 3D Materials Practice, Wood, Metal, Plastics and Ceramics (WMCP) from The University of Brighton. Since then she has been living and working in London. Her studio is based in Trinity Buoy Wharf and she is a member of Trinity Art Studio. She creates commissions for inspired individuals, continue to develop and practice transferring her skills onto those that are wishing to learn creative skills.

Coiling a bowl at home

Coiling is perhaps the most versatile of the hand building techniques in the pottery world because it allows you to build forms of any design or scale using your hands. It’s a slower and a more contemplative way of working, with clay which requires patience and attention as to get the detail right. There are a few different methods of coiling and Amanda taught us the traditional way of rolled coils.

Amanda Cotton work class at home

Receiving my material a week before of the clay, varnish and brush I was excited for my online masterclass. Logging on the day LIVE online connecting with friends Amanda briefed us all before getting started.

Getting started we all covered our working tables at home with plastic coverings, cloth, bowl of water, a piece of cardboard, and clay together.

Now it was time to start building our bowl each. Firstly we drew a circle using a round small plate on to our cardboard as a template for our bowl base.

Then it was onto building our bowl. The clay we were provided is reinforced air drying model type clay which is a professional ceramic product. This is a non sticky clay and is reinforced with nylon and has a slow shrinkage rate compared to other clay so less likely to go brittle. Grabbing the clay and kneading it for a while we loosened up our clay. Then tearing off part of the clay we made a flat circle disc approx 1cm in thickness and big enough to fit the circle we drew.

Then with the rest of the clay we rolled this into a thick sausage shape using our hands then cut this into six segments. We were told that using the palm of our hands ratter than our fingers is easier as rolling with fingers will create marks in the clay. It was then onto rolling each into long sausages which are each long enough to wrap around the circle disc.

Scoring the edges of the circle disc and the long sausage before attaching to the circle disc we were told to wet both parts of the clay. This is to make sure that the coil grips the clay. If your sausage is longer than the circumference of the disc cut off any excess. Then adding each additional sausage using the same method we built up on each coil.

At this stage it was looking more like a bowl, now supporting the clay by cupping the side in one hand, we carefully started to blend the coils into one another and the bottom one onto the base. Starting within inside the bowl we blended each coil upwards using our fingers. Once that was done we did the same technique on the outside whilst taking care not to squash it too much as so not to loose our shape of our bowl. This is easier if you hold the shape in one hand as you blend with the other.

Then using a piece of damp cloth we wiped inside the bowl to smooth everything out and on the outside.

If you have any extra clay left from any cuttings you can create additional things or add to your bowl.

So I decided to get a little creative and add some hearts on the outside of my bowl and as well as within plus a sneaky little mouse. My friends one added fish, another stars and another made hers into a book bowl which was hilarious.

Usually after the bowl is complete it would get fired by Amanda in her workshop but as we done this at home via online we were told instead of firing leaving our bowl to dry for 7 days would be sufficient enough. For the first 12 hours it is advised to cover loosely with plastic why as to stop water from evaporating too quickly as if drys too fast it could crack.

After two weeks we each could then paint our bowls with acrylic paint and finish by glazing it. I used a varnish which was provided by Amanda and gave it several coats as recommended.

Creativity is all about making mistakes, messes and learning and even though my bowl was a little thick, a little wonky and my paintwork was not perfect I was very pleased with my bowl especially my cheeky little mouse which sneakily hides in my bowl. I love it.

What would would you add to your bowl to make it unique?


Amanda is such a lovely young lady and made the the whole class a very joyable one amongst friends. She made each step of building our bowl up easy to understand. The whole class from the start made us each relaxed and gave us much laughs. My end result even though not perfect I was very happy with my result.

As mentioned earlier I have made a bowl under the guidance of Amanda before at her workshop which I used the potters wheel which is a totally different technique but equally as fun.

Amanda pottery bowl

This was my bowl which I made using a potter wheel.

However the beauty about coiling though is that you don’t need a potters wheel and you can easily do it at home anytime.

So if you are looking for a fun crafting experience then I highly recommend booking an online class with Amanda and learn the techniques of coiling or book a class to attend one of her many classes at her workshop.

Amanda Cotton Workshop book now

Amanda Cotton Workshops at home

Virtual ceramic pottery workshops socialise and be creative from the safety of your own home anywhere in the world.

Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, her workshops will boost your creative skills.  

Virtual Ceramic Social | 1.5hr social | Up to 6 Friends | Equipment Delivered

  • Includes 1.5-hours of ceramic fun online with Amanda Cotton & up to 6 friends
  • DIY pack includes 1kg x air-dry clay, 1 x wooden knife, 1 x wooden brush & 30ml clear glaze
  • Price: £150 including post and packaging within the UK
  • Min two & max six people (whether there are two or six of you, the price is the same)
  • Ideal for anyone & everyone no matter your experience. Person’s under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult

DIY Ceramic Pack | Equipment Delivered

  • DIY pack includes 1kg x air-dry clay, 1 x wooden knife, 1 x wooden brush & 30ml clear glaze
  • One pack will create a bowl similar to the ones found in the images
  • Price: £25.00 (£20.00 + £5.00 UK post & packaging)
  • Ideal for anyone & everyone no matter your experience. Person’s under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult
  • The DIY pack does not come with instructions on how to be creative but I will email an explanation on how to care for your clay, for example, the drying and glazing process

Click here to check out all Amanda Cotton masterclasses.

Thank you to Amanda Cotton for a fun class.

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