How I Make a Lidded Jar
Hi. Here’s how I make a lidded jar.
First, it is thrown on the wheel, dried, flipped, dried some more, trimmed. This is the result. To me it sort of looks like a tulip glass, but it wasn’t chosen for any reason other than I just happen to find that shape to be beautiful.
I begin to mark a repeating elevation on four evenly space places around the pot, usually at the widest part, using a compass with the pencil removed. This gives me reasonably consistent results.
I open the compass wider and make another set of four evenly spaced marks exactly halfway between the first set, and an inch or two higher up on the pot.
I sponge the lip and foot with a very wet sponge to help prevent the clay from chipping apart at those places like it wants to.
After letting the new moisture settle into the clay, I flip it over and get ready to cut it.
I cut a series of “u” shapes using the small pin holes as a rough guide. I rarely manage to hit the marks exactly, but the help at least keep things sort of consistent.
I remove the whole bottom section.
I remove the top section from the banding wheel and put the bottom half there, right side up.
I cut the bottom section in half vertically at the bottom of the V on two opposite sides.
The edges are carefully rounded with a sponge.
The joining faces are carefully scored with my trusty scraper.
And then slip is applied.
Then they are stuck back together.
I set that part aside while the slip sets up. On to the top section. It is quartered. I used the bottom of each ‘U’ shape as the dividing point, resulting in a nice staggered joint pattern. It works structurally the same way a common bond brick pattern does. The staggered seams will help hold the piece together during glazing and firing.
For the undulating, flower-like lip-line, I whittle away a bit from the middle of the lip and then sponge that smooth.
I am careful to keep the order of the parts preserved to save myself from some puzzle solving later on. These parts are scored and set aside as I finish the bottom section.
Now, the bottom section is split again on the other ‘V’ shapes. They are cleaned up and scored.
From my stash of finished floor discs, I take the one that fits perfectly, and insert it into the groove. I put the two halves together and make sure everything fit nicely. If it is a bit tight, I adjust the diameter with a sponge until it is perfect.
I slip and reassemble those parts, careful not to let any slip touch the disc. It must be free-floating in the groove to allow for expansion and contraction. If you know anything about cabinet making, this will make perfect sense.
Next, I begin to Reassemble the top half, in place, one piece at a time, like this.
Now the body is finished. The lid is put together in a very similar fashion.
This pattern is called “Arches” when applied to vertical forms, and “Tortoise” when applied to bowls.