This is a video showing how I make my handbuilt tumblers. Check out finished pieces at

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Comment by Charan Sachar on June 8, 2011 at 6:42am

The template I use is approx 6" tall and the round cutter is approx 2.5".

The best way to determine what size you will need is to get a paper cup of the dimensions you like (Like a latte cup from a coffe shop). Cut open the bottom and along the length and open it up. Increase the size of this template by the shrinkage rate of your clay and you have your template.

You can then alter it as per your needs.


Comment by Casey Cheuvront on March 29, 2011 at 9:04pm
Charan, this is beautiful, meticulous work! Thank you for sharing this - I wish I could get my students to be 1/10th this persnickety!
Comment by Charan Sachar on October 25, 2010 at 7:00pm
Since I am not talking in the video, here are the steps for the process.
Cut template for your tumbler or cylinder from a thin slab (1/8 inch) of compressed clay. The clay needs to be a little stiffer than fresh out of the bag.
Roll the top rim with a brayer to round it making it comfortable for drinking. Roll the side of the slab to bevel it later for joining. The brayer can be purchased at a clay supply store.
Roll patterns or use stamps to decorate. This is where you can let your creativity show through. I make some stamps and some I purchase at thrift stores.
Apply slip to the sides and roll over a rolling pin to form your tumbler. To true up the roundness, use a round object like a Styrofoam ball which won’t stick to the clay.
Score and slip to add the bottom. The bottom is finished by running a profile tool (made from a popsicle stick) along the edge.
My tumblers are embellished with buttons to capture the look of embroidered fabric wrapped around and held together with buttons.
These tumblers are further decorated with slip to give more texture.
Comment by George Lewter on October 25, 2010 at 6:52pm
If you are always frustrated because your slab forms are crude and lumpy, take some time and study Charan's video. You'll be glad you did! Thanks, Charan!


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