Handbuilt Woodland Vases

Designer: Carmen Allen



  1. Begin by rolling out a slab that is about ¼” thick. The size of the slab will depend on what size you want your vessels to be.
  2. Place the MT-002 Wood Grain Mat onto the slab and gently press down working your way across the mat. Be sure to press down and not drag your hand across the mat causing the mat to shift. Using your rolling pin to slowly work across the mat works well also.
  3. Cut out the appropriately sized rectangle to form your cylinder. Be sure to leave some extra slab to make the bottom!
  4. Stand the slab up vertically and connect the ends to create a cylinder and attach the connecting edges.
  5. Place on extra slab space for the bottom and trace around the bottom of your cylinder. Cut it out, then slip and score to attach to the walls of the cylinder.
  6. Using your hand or a sponge, push out slightly from the inside to misform the cylinder a bit so that it is more organic.
  7. Tear the top edge of clay off.
  8. To make the moss, push some clay through a screen or strainer and let the pieces dry or force them dry. It shouldn’t take too long. Score and slip the area that you want the moss to be and sprinkle the dried pieces of clay onto it. You may need to gently press down to secure.
  9. Pinch out some small domed disks to form the mushrooms. Cut them about in half and slip and score to attach to the form.
  10. To put an owl in the tree, cut a small hole into your cylinder depending on the size you would like the owl to be. Smooth the cut edges with your fingers, I pulled out a bit here to define the edge more.
  11. Slip and score to attach a thin slab inside of the hole.
  12. Form a small owl to fit in the hole. I created mine by flattening small disks and cutting and reforming them. Make sure the bottom of your own resembles the shape it will fit in and be sure not to make it too thick so it’s sticking out too much. Once your owl is formed, slip and score to attach.
  13. Loosely lay plastic over forms and allow to dry slowly.
  14. Once completely dry, fire to shelf cone 04.


  1. Begin with properly fired shelf cone 04 bisque. Moisten a clean sponge and wipe bisque to remove any dust.
  2. Apply 3 coats of FN-023 Cinnamon to the inside of the vessels. Allow drying between coats.
  3. Apply 3 coats of EL-145 Ginger root to the wood grain texture.
  4. Apply 2 coats of FN-142 Grass to the moss.
  5. Antique both the mushrooms and the owl with UG-50 Jet Black. To antique, apply 1 coat and allow to dry. Use a moist sponge to wipe glaze away, leaving some behind to emphasize texture.
  6. Apply 2-3 coats of EL-143 Cactus Flower to the mushrooms.
  7. Apply 2 coats of the following colors to the owl: SC-9 Jaded, SC-10 Teal Next Time, SC-42 Butter Me Up, SC-94 Curry Around* (discontinued).
  8. Apply 2 coats of EL-144 Dark Amethyst if there’s bisque open behind the owl.
  9. Allow to dry completely.
  10. Stilt and fire to shelf cone 06/05.



  • Standard 105 white earthenware clay


  • EL-142 Grass
  • EL-143 Cactus Flower
  • EL-144 Dark Amethyst
  • EL-145 Ginger Root
  • FN-023 Cinnamon
  • UG-50 Jet Black
  • SC-9 Jaded
  • SC-10 Teal Next Time
  • SC-42 Butter Me Up
  • SC-94 Curry Around* (discontinued)

Decorating Accessories

  • MT-002 Wood Grain Mat
  • CB-604 #4 Soft Fan
  • CB-106 #6 Script Liner

Miscellaneous Accessories

  • Sponge
  • Rolling pin/slab roller
  • Needle tool
  • Small mesh or screen