Extruded Slab Building - Part 1

By: Megan Baig
Dec. 7, 2021

Yesterday, for one of the first times, I started making an extruded slab-built piece. I cut out a base, extruded half a dozen one-inch strips of clay, and started building up using the traditional score and slip method. After the first few pieces were coiled around it starting taking on its own unique shape. I was mindful about how each slab was attached and the repetition of each part made it almost meditative. Once it reached an estimated two feet tall, I measured the kiln's interior to see how much taller I could still make it. I had about two inches left to work with and was nowhere near done. I found myself wishing I had a much taller kiln. If I fired the piece without a shelf on the bottom I'd gain another inch or so though. Another option was to build something that could be assembled afterwards but warping is always a concern. I decided to sleep on it for the time being. I could figure it out tomorrow.

This morning, I slipped down to the studio quick to take another look at the vase. Is it a vase now? I guess so.. I added a neck to the piece after darting the ends, and now have something like this:

I'm not completely in love with the shape its taken on, but that might have something to do with the lack of design on it. I can't seem to decide if I want a nice smooth surface or something that shows texture. After it sets up a bit I can smooth it out a bit more with a shear form tool, and after that I can start decorating it. I plan on adding either slip or underglaze to the outside and then follow it up with either sgraffito, slip trailing, mishima, or any combination of the three.


A few hours later....

Now its a pitcher! I think this will more or less be its final form. I'm still not sure how I'm going to finish it, but I like it better now at least. I think that'll be it for tonight, though.. the handle and spout need to set up as does the rest of the piece still. I'm keeping it tucked in nicely for the night and tomorrow I'll see what inspires me.

Thanks for reading and check back soon!