Pulling Spoons

by - January 23, 2016

A while back I shared how I made spoons from a mold. I still have the plaster molds, but after awhile, I found them to be clumsy and frustrating. I'm not patient enough to wait for the mold to release the wet clay. So over the past few days being cooped up inside do to nasty weather, I've started back at spoon making without the molds. Instead of pressing clay into a mold, I roll a wedge-shaped coil, press the thicker end around the bowl of an existing spoon and pull the handle. My process is changing and evolving, but these are my basic steps for pulling ceramic spoons.

How to make spoons out of clay using your own kitchen spoons:


paige puckett pottery spoons

Select a spoon from the kitchen with a bowl shape you want to achieve or use as a starting point. Also grab any texture you may want to add and a pony roller (this one is similar to mine: Norpro Deluxe Pastry and Pizza Roller). If you plan on having a hole, get your hole punch. I have this hole punch set: Jack Richeson 4-Piece Clay Hole Cutters 


measuring spoon and clay

measuring spoon and clay

Roll a small clay coil with a bulbous end, with enough volume to press around the end of the selected spoon.

measuring spoon and clay

paige puckett pottery making spoons

Press the bowl of the spoon into the bulbous end and evenly shape the clay around the bowl paying attention to any cracks that might be forming and smooth those out.

paige puckett pottery making spoons


By either holding the clay spoon by the bowl ("real" spoon still attached) or laying it on the work space, narrowing the handle by gently pulling and shaping being careful not to stress where the handle connects to the bowl. I do about half the pulling with the spoon attached and half later while supported on the work space. You can support the "neck" with one hand to keep it from pulling. 

paige puckett pottery making spoons

The trickiest part by far is releasing the clay from the bowl of the "real" spoon. If you have a slick metal spoon, a little water will allow you rotate and slowly pull it out if you make sure you limit stretching the clay bowl. If you used a wooden spoon, this may not work.

paige puckett pottery pulling spoons

The bowl and stem are then cleaned up to remove cracks and get the thickness I want. If the clay ball on the end was much larger than the "real" spoon's bowl, I will continue to shape the bowl as I would a pinch pot.
rolling pin

paige puckett pottery making spoons

Use your texture and a pony roller to gently press in the texture. I like to wrap lace just barely around the sides.

paige puckett pottery pulling spoons

Punch the hole and clean it up.

paige puckett pottery making spoons

As the clay firms, clean up the bowl and rim to get the shape you want.

paige puckett pottery making spoons

I let mine dry imprint and rim side down and give a final few smoothings to the handle and slim the neck a tiny bit more.

paige puckett pottery making spoons

So there are all the pulled spoons drying on the kiln shelves ahead of bisque firing. I think they may turn out stronger than the molded ones as they began with a fresh, solid ball of clay where air was not introduced in the process. 

And here is the finished product in a Faux Shino and white glaze:

Handmade Ceramic Spoons



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11 comments

  1. Wonderful!!! Gotta try! Thank you!

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  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Now another kitchen tool will be relocated to the pottery studio.

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  3. Nancy Lewis
    What a great idea! I can definitely see my ceramic students creating these spoons. I especially like how you added the hole, so the spoons can be displayed, and the glazes that you choose have a nice contrast.

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  4. Beautiful spoons~!! Do you glaze the backs of them? I tried making spoons for christmas gifts, but the glaze was ruined from the stilts...just curious how you do it...THANKS FOR SHARING~!! :^)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I glaze the whole spoon and buff out the sharp spots from the stilts.

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  5. Oh my gosh, ROLLING lace on. I'm such an idiot! I got on a kick of wanting lace patterns on clay but couldn't find a method that worked or pieces survived. I figured it was my clay body(Cone 10 porcelain). I'm feeling inspired again and want to make another go at it.
    Do you use the same type of clay for all your work? I think I read on another entry that you fire mostly to Cone 5/6? Have you noticed some clays/firing work better than others?
    Thank you for sharing your awesome pieces!!

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    Replies
    1. I alternate between Little Loafers and Speckled Brownstone from Highwater Clays. It's cone 5/6 and well behaved. The only trouble I've had of late is that the clear glaze I've never previously had trouble with has started bubbling. I'm wondering if the glaze has been contaminated or if I've somehow changed my bisque temp.

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  6. Do you have one available for purchase?

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