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You can handle it!

Add more handle techniques to your repertoire! This tip provides two possibilities and techniques for you and your students to try.

There are many ways to make handles for cups, teapots, jars and other clay vessels. And, there are many tools to help create successful, functional and good-looking handles.

Of course, a plain coil handle can be made very simply, and a pulled handle can be made with lots of practice. These are both excellent ways to make handles.

The techniques shown here work best with moist clay (out of the bag, instead of scraps from slabs, etc.). A good way to tell if your clay is moist enough is to roll a coil the size of your finger and then wrap that coil around your finger. If this coil gets cracks, it is not as moist as we are recommending to use for handles.

Be sure to allow handles to dry slowly. To do this, lay plastic bags (garbage bags, dry-cleaning bags, plastic shopping bags, etc.) over the clay with handle attached for 24 hours or so. FYI: Slow drying works well when any attachments are made.

We hope you and your students enjoy these possibilities and techniques and use them to make some successful, functional and good-looking handles.

Finished handle, made from a handle sprig mold.

Make a wide coil and press into sprig mold. Smooth clay while in mold with a rubber rib. Remove from mold. Immediately form into handle shape for best results.

Finished handle made from a handle sprig mold with critter accent attached.

Press clay into critter sprig mold. Here is a frog, which can be added to a handle, and two lizard possibilities that could serve as the entire handle.

Clay Tips from the Gamble Studio | David and Tracy Gamble share a renovated church studio and home in Plainfield, Ind. With 50 years of experience between them, they teach clay workshops throughout the country.

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Title Annotation:designing handles
Author:Gamble, David; Gamble, Tracy
Publication:Arts & Activities
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2015
Words:321
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