Big Ceramic Store Blog

Hand-Building Easter Baskets

Valentine's Day is over, and Easter is just around the corner. What better way to prepare for it than to make your own baskets? Maybe you want one for on your counter, or maybe you sell your wares and need a new item for the sales line. I think this may be the year I make one for each of my children as a family heirloom.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to making your own basket. My youngest daughter is a beachy kinda girl, my middle daughter is more primitive, and my son is a nature buff. Using colors, techniques and shapes, I'm sure I can create unique and personalized baskets they will be proud to display.

A little clay, engobe, underglaze, tools and a few brushes is all I will be using for this project. Ready to make a basket with your personal touches? Well, grab your coffee and follow me to the studio. The basket I'm making today is simple and traditional... bunnies, peeps and eggs. Since I'm "winging" it without a template, I need to practice before I make the ones I want for my children.

For this project, I will show you the basics however; you may want to modify it to suit your personality or specific ideas. Let's gather a few supplies and get started.

  • Clay
    • For the basket sides, I've rolled out a slab of brown stoneware clay 12" x 16" and roughly 1/4" thick
    • For the base, I've prepared a second slab large enough to cut a piece for the bottom. Again, it's roughly 1/4" thick.
    • For the handle, I will be using strips cut from one of the slabs
  • Tools
    • Needle tool
    • Ruler
    • Xiem X-Bevel
    • Scoring tool
    • Brushes
    • Dowel or rolling pin
    • Cookie Cutters
  • Magic water or slip
  • Engobe
  • Underglaze

Now that we have our supplies gathered, let's get started making the basket.

1. Using a long dowel rod, I rolled over a basket weave patterned placemat on the slab to create a design for the outside of my basket.


2. Next, using a ruler, I cut the slab into two pieces 6" x 12"

3. Lay both pieces tightly together. One face up, the other face down. Use the X-Bevel tool to cut a bevel along both ends

4. This is when I painted both pieces with the e

5. Score and slip (or use magic water) on the beveled cuts

6. Stand the pieces up and join them

7. Make cutouts with cookie cutters and paint them with an underglaze

8. Score/slip the cutouts and attach them to the basket

9. Flip the basket over, score the bottom

10. Flip the basket back over and onto the slab for the base. Trace an outline of the basket , cut it out and score/slip.

11. Attach the base

12. Roll 3 coils from pieces left over from a slab

13. Weave them together, then roll the woven coil

14. Slightly flatten the coil, score/slip and attach for a handle

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