How To Make A Ceramic Mug Without A Wheel

Are you thinking of making a ceramic mug but don’t want to invest in all the required equipment to start the journey? Are you wondering if there is even the slightest possibility of making a ceramic mug without a wheel? Are you attempting to go back to the stone age, where modern technology is a futuristic idea?

When working with ceramic clay to shape your desired mug, it is essential to mention the four ways you can create a mug without a wheel or modern technology. Pinch pot and coil pot techniques, accompanied by molds and slab building, are straightforward techniques to create a ceramic mug without investing in fancy tools.

Clay is one of the most common materials used for pottery but working with ceramic clay to make a mug can be time-consuming and scary. Not everyone interested in making ceramic mugs will have access to the equipment needed, but by using different techniques, you can create that perfect mug without using a wheel.

Techniques For Making Ceramic Mugs Without A Wheel

Making ceramic mugs can be a daunting, time-consuming tasks that requires precision and specific techniques. Luckily there are many ways to make ceramic art, especially when it comes to pots, pans, and mugs used in the kitchen.

The four main techniques that the industry leaders use in making ceramic clay mugs without the use of a wheel are:

  1. The Pinch Pot Method
  2. The Coil Pot Method
  3. The Molding Method
  4. The Slab Building Method

These four techniques date back 20 000 years. The use of wheels in making ceramic mugs is new to the industry and is taking ceramics to new heights. You can create a ceramic mug with the help of any of these four conventional ways of ceramic art.

How To Make A Ceramic Mug Using The Pinch Pot Technique

Perfecting ceramic art comes with a lot of technique, time, and precision. Working with ceramic clay is sometimes unfamiliar and unconventional and requires a delicate touch and authentic feel for the art of ceramics. The pinch pot technique is an industry favorite when making a ceramic mug without a wheel.

  1. Start by pressing your thumb into the ball of clay to create a pocket where you will make the base thickness of the mug.
  2. As you progress by pushing down the base, you will have to rely on your feel for the art of ceramics to determine the thickness at the base.
  3. It is essential to try and finalize the base of the mug before progressing to the side walls, as the base will become hard to reach as the height of the walls starts to increase.
  4. Now that the process of shaping the walls is in progress, you will have to ensure that you keep symmetry while focusing on maintaining the desired thickness for the side walls.
  5. When you reach the desired shape and thickness of the ceramic mug, it is essential to smooth out the sides and base of the mug with water and a sponge. Doing this smooths the surface and creates a uniform and unique pattern on the mug.

How To Make A Ceramic Mug Using The Coil Pot Technique

When considering which technique to use, looking at a base technique like the coil pot technique is essential. When the coil pot technique is used, you will find that the mug you are creating will be stable and robust, and durability will increase.

  1. Starting with the coiling technique, take a piece of clay and roll it into a sausage-like shape. Shape the sausage into a flat, round spring form. This form creates a very sturdy and solid base.
  2. When the base is formed, start rolling out more coils for the wall of the mug. Try to maintain the same thickness when rolling out the coils.
  3. After rolling a couple of coils, attach them to the base by layering to form the mug wall. Connecting the coils requires you to pinch them into the mug wall.
  4. When the coil is attached, start to pinch the clay upwards to thin out the wall and create the desired height of the mug.
  5. If you have any bumps or holes in your mug, add damp clay to the holes and start scraping the mug to get a nice, smooth finish.
  6. When you are satisfied with your mug, please leave it to dry before using it.

How To Make Ceramic Mugs Using The Molding Technique

One of the techniques used in the industry when it comes to smooth edges on a mug is molding. When making a ceramic mug using a mold, you must look at the design that you are trying to achieve and work your way forward.

  1. Starting will require you to make a mold for the mug you desire to create. The coil and pinch-pot techniques will allow for a quick, effective, and durable mold.
  2. After creating the mold for your mug, build a box around the mold and pour the plaster between the mold and the box, and leave to set. The plaster will be the material you use to create the mold you desire.
  3. Once the plaster mold for your ceramic mug is nearing the end of the curing process, wax the inside of your mold to preventing the ceramic mug from sticking to the plaster mold. Pour the mixture into the mold and swirl around.
  4. Once all edges are covered, let the ceramic mixture dry almost completely before repeating the process. The ceramic mug inside the mold will start to dry to a point where you can extract it and place it on a drying rack to dry completely.

How To Make Ceramic Mugs Using The Slab Building Technique

Making ceramic mugs can be very difficult to master when using specific techniques, especially when you cannot use the right tools, like a wheel, to form the mug you desire to create. The slab building technique is one of the most cost-effective ways of making ceramic mugs due to the minimum equipment needed to finish the job.

  1. Start by taking the ceramic clay and form it into a flat sheet on a tablecloth, making sure it is shaped to the desired thickness before you start.
  2. Wet the ceramic clay sheet on both sides with a wet sponge or paintbrush.
  3. Now that the slab is wet trace out the mug template on the ceramic clay sheet.
  4. The next step is cutting out the template on the clay sheet, making sure it is perfect and per your design.
  5. After smoothing out the sides of the template, form a candle with the remainder of the clay to shape the handle for your mug.
  6. You will now pinch the two sides of the shape together to form the body of the mug, ensuring there is an air-tight seal, add the base and smooth out any rough edges or surface areas with a wet sponge. Your beautiful ceramic mug is now ready for the curing process.


Designing the perfect mug for ceramics is daunting and somewhat exciting but always challenging. If you want to make a unique mug that will suit your style, using pinch pot, coil pot, molds, or slab building techniques to create the perfect ceramic mug will get you just that.

The use of a wheel is not at all necessary when it comes to ceramics. In most cases, the fundamental basics of creating a mug out of ceramics will make a good result. It is a personal experience and takes you back to the more primitive way of creating mugs.


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