Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Storage Jars - How To Make Flat Lids

At the moment life is getting in the way of making pots. This happens quite frequently of course: there’s always something popping up in life to interrupt potting plans. Recently it’s building work that’s causing disruption. We discovered the outside wall directly above my studio space was in danger of falling over in the next bad storm. And bearing in mind there’s been some pretty stormy, rainy and windy weather recently, we decided we’d better get it fixed pronto! All very boring, disruptive, noisy, dusty and stressful etc. And since it’s happening directly over my head, I’m having trouble concentrating on making pots.

However, in between the drilling and hammering and general crash of masonry falling around me, I’ve managed to do some reclaiming of clay at least and even made a few pots. As you can see in the photos, I’ve made some storage jars in the same style as my mustard pots. They have a simple cylinder design with a small ‘shelf’ area for the lid to sit on and little cut-out holes for a spoon.

The lids are thrown on the wheel from a small lump of clay. They’re made ‘right-way-up’ with the knobs included, which is a bit like making the opposite of a bowl. Instead of making a hole in the centre of the clay, you press down on the edge of the lump to create a flat lid around a central blob, which is shaped to become the knob. I’ve made this little diagram below to illustrate.

As long as you get the amount of clay right for your pot and you measure accurately when throwing, this is a very efficient design. No clay is wasted and it requires only a small amount of ‘clean-up’ when leatherhard: just a wipe over the base with a damp sponge. The holes have to be cut at the optimum time: the clay can’t be too soft or too hard or they won’t be nice and crisp. I used to use a round looped tool to make them but this time I discovered my small cookie cutter is the perfect size.

I’ve always liked storage jars, especially with lids and holes like these! And there’s something very satisfying about getting a lid to fit snugly onto a pot. Anyway, these pots are drying now and waiting to be bisque fired. In the meantime I’m hoping the building work will be over soon so I can get back to normal potting.


  1. I love the shape of these! I wonder if you would consider making one without a spoon hole? I'm looking for a sugar pot and spoon holes mean too much moisture gets in and the sugar soon turns into a sugar-rock...

    1. Hi Helen! I'll send you an email...

  2. You are so of Talent and brilliant!
    I love your items and shapes!

  3. You make it look so simple though I'm sure it takes a lot of practise to get them to turn out as well as yours!

  4. Thanks Pam! And to everyone for the lovely comments!