Handles are not only functional for lifting pieces but they are also pleasing to look at. Pulling the handle and attaching it involves making some decisions about size and shape. A handle should always be strong enough to support the weight of the piece. Also, if the piece might be used to lift something, like a pitcher with water, the handle should be strong enough to lift the piece plus its contents.
(Pulling the length of the clay)
Wet the clay and your hand and begin pulling the clay into a long handle in a stroking fashion. You can not do this in one pull. Pulling a handle may take 50 pulls or more. Each pull will make the handle just a little longer.
(Let the handle sit to firm up)
After the handle is the correct size, let the handle firm up, by placing it off the edge of a table. This handle has been lifted back to the top so that the curve of the handle will already be made when the handle firms up.
(Both pieces are ready)
When the piece you are attaching the handle to is leather hard and when the handle is firm you can attach the handle.
(Scratch the cup where the handle will be attached)
Using a sharp pencil or a needle tool - scratch the piece where the handle will be attached.
(Press the top of the handle into place)
Scratch the handle where it will attach to the piece and press the handle in place. It is a good idea to put slip on both pieces before pressing it on. Some potters use white vinegar on the attachment areas.
(Do the same for the bottom)
Attach the bottom the same way you attached the top of the handle.
When the handle is attached, smooth out the attachment areas with a wet finger.
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