Roman coil pots

Making Roman coil pots is a fun art and craft activity for KS2 children which can help to bring to life a Romans topic.

The hand building of pots using coils of clay is one of the earliest methods of constructing pottery and was used by Romans and a number of other ancient civilisations including Egyptians. Romans used the coil pot method for home-made coarse ware. Sometimes the coil pots were finished on a potters wheel giving them a much smoother finish. Romans also used the pinch pot method and prefabricated moulds for creating pottery.

You Will Need

Air Hardening Modelling Clay

Plastic Modelling Tools

To Make Roman Coil Pots

  • Begin by making the base for you pot. Take a piece of clay, and roll it out to a thickness of about one and a half centimetres thick. Cut out a circle from the clay, of the size that you want your pot base to be.
  • Now you’ll need to make the sides of your pot using the coil method. To start this, roll a few large piece of clay into long thin snake shapes. You can choose the thickness, but they should be in the region of a couple of centimetres thick.
  • Place one end of your first clay snake on top of one of the edges of the base, and begin to wind it around the outside of the base. Once you reach the end of the first piece, press it down firmly to secure it on the base.
  • Continue the coil process by adding the next ‘snake’ on top, building up vertically so that you have a good number of rings of clay. Be sure to keep pressing the coils down to secure them in place.
  • As you reach towards your desired height, begin to taper to the pot inwards, reducing the size of each ring until you have a gap of just a few centimetres at the top.
  • Next, roll a ball of clay to place on top of the pot, ensuring that it’s big enough to not fall in.
  • To finish your pot, you may wish to smooth over the joins of the coils with your fingers.


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