5 Ways to make HANDLES FOR MUGS – Clay/Pottery/Ceramics

my hand is getting so hot that's better got my handle five ways to make handles pulling handles use an extruder use a slam use a coil use a tool to cut the clay what's up guys I'm John the Potter and on this channel we explore what's possible with clay today we are talking about handles handles are so nice for many reasons probably the most functional reason is so that you don't burn your hands when you have really hot beverages in here so hot there's many reasons why you love a handle handles provide a nice anchor if you want to hold your coffee like this provides an interesting aesthetic as well there's a reason why people love coffee mugs and you gotta think it's the handle because without a handle it's just a cup there are tons of different ways to make handles I'm just gonna go through a few of them probably the best way for everyone to learn is to pull handles that's how I learned was to pull handles but now I extrude all the handles which I'll show you how to do as well comment below tell me how you make your handles and I'll show you how a few different ways that I know how to make them let's do it first way to make a handle pulling handles to pull handles you gotta start with piece of clay and a bucket of water and yes I cut my thumb which is why I have a bandage on it so for this make sure you have a well wedged piece of clay and I'm just gonna form it into just something that resembles a thick thick handle so now what you do to pull the handle is you take your hands dip it in water take clay and dip it in the water a little bit and you just kind of go around and you pretend that you're milking a cow not really actually but just make sure you use that water and you just apply consistent even pressure all the way around and just focus on bringing that clay towards the end so I like to just keep rotating it so that I don't get one side that's thicker than the other and once you get better and more consistent at that then it becomes really quick and easy and then a lot of times you'll find that you get a lot of weight down here at the bottom and so after you get the handle pretty much good then I like to just pinch off that bottom and then you can pinch off up here too and there's a handle obviously that looked pretty quick and easy and it just takes some time to get really good and then you can go on to your next one so just squeeze that clay from the top make sure you have a nice wet piece of clay and that your hands stay pretty wet just keep rotating it if you don't rotate it then you'll tend to like get a fatter part on one side but if you rotate it then it shouldn't be a problem there we go there's another handle boom second way to make a handle use an extruder to make handles that you need an extruder for you obviously need an extruder which these things aren't cheap but they're super nice and this is how I do all my handles so you got to start with a big piece of clay you stick right in there and then you gotta have mold and you just use this thing as leverage to push that clay out super nice and efficient some people think it's a little less how would you say artsy or it's like cheating like when I was in college they didn't actually let us use the extruder they made us pull handles but now that I can do whatever I want I like using an extruder so this is the handle mold that we push the clay through so that's what the handles look like so we'll just take this we got this plunger all the way up so we can just stick bunch of clay in there clay stick this clay up there don't take this got it around there and then we just tighten this down this thing and we just move it so that we're actually pushing that clay right through there so I should see there's the hand there we go and then we just lay that out and cut it into pieces and form it into a handle third way to make a handle use a slab first we got to make our slab so I just start with a ball of clay and I'll just quick throw out a slab you can just cut whatever shape handle you want so if we just want a pretty straightforward handle then we would just cut like this and then obviously since you cut it it's got pretty sharp edges right now so then just take a sponge and just kind of wipe those edges so that it's not like a super sharp edge and then form it into a handle so the fun thing about this is you can literally do anything you want like that shape of handle is kind of stupid let's try like a little bit thinner one like that or if you wanted to create like this is where you can get creative using slabs for handles is what if we created two and then we just twist them together be kind of cool gamble fourth way to make a handle use a coil first we'll just roll out a coil I can also get this shape with my scooter too which is totally what I would do but if you don't have any sooner than you know need one so then I would just cut and make that into a handle that'd be a good handle you can do the same thing with this one too where you make two different ones and take these and spiral them together to make a super cool interesting handle probably use it on a mug but I'd maybe use it like on the ends of platters or some kind of like decorative piece fifth way to make a handle use a tool to cut the clay and I don't ever do this but I know another Potter that does this this is how he makes all his handles I'll show you how to do it and you can experiment it and try it out we got our big piece of clay and we got a tool and they make tools that are more designed for handles but I'm just gonna use this part right here so you can experiment with different shapes and then you would just actually cut out when shells like that and then just form that into a handle and I would obviously take a sponge and make that part a little smoother so that's probably not that's definitely not my favorite way and I've only done this a few times but but yeah if you experiment with different shaped tools then you can have different shape handles there we go so I would go through and make that a little smoother take my sponge and make that so it's not quite so rough so obviously there are a ton of different ways that you can make handles and each of their Potter's has their own preference my preference is to use an extruder because it's fast it's consistent many Potter's would say that pulling it handles is the best way because then you get a lot of weight up on the top of the handle and then it kind of gets thinned out at the bottom which technically would probably be the most functional and the most durable and also maybe would feel the best in your hand so then how you put the handle on the mug it's pretty much the same no matter what method you use so I'll just show you how we put some of those handles on and you just use the same method here we go to put the handles on I always score on the mug where I'm gonna put the handle and I also score the handle as well so scoring is just scratching it up and that makes basically is just gonna make it so that those two things just get locked in together I also always use slip on my handles too which is just really really liquefied clay so whenever you're joining clay it makes sense to just use a little slip to join it anytime you're joining two different pieces of clay that aren't the exact same consistency spent on what I do is just take this stick that on the top stick that part on the bottom and then I just join with my fingers just like that and you got a perfectly good handle so there you go there's five different ways to make handles pull a handle extrude a handle make a coiled handle make a handle out of a slab and cut a handle out of a piece of clay with a tool now I just actually have to put all these handles on all these mugs comment below and tell me what kind of handles you prefer what you use and why thanks so much for watching this video hit that subscribe button for more pottery videos like this and we will see you in the next video


  1. NeoDaVinci 97

    I like throwing my handles. I throw a slightly thicker cylinder, then I section off the cylinder and form the different sections (give one ridges, one is curved, one has two bands, etc). Then I use a needle to cut off each handle, trim it to length, and lay it in shape to dry

  2. Linnea Lahlum

    You may have good content, but the goofy expressions don't help your videos. Just makes me want to stop watching faster. It just looks juvenile.

  3. TAS Shakenbake

    Kewl. I'm using an extruder as well. Makes the handles more consistent and also I can make them faster 🙂 . Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  4. Bree Daggett

    I was taught to pull handles from the mug! So basically the same as your pulling method, except score and slip the clay onto the mug first and then begin pulling!

  5. L. Michele

    Your tips are always useful to me as I am rather intimidated by pulling handles…I still try but my handles are MOSTLY slab and coil
    handles…thanks Jon😊

  6. Eva Thomas

    Thanks again for a great informative video. I pull all my handles. I recently got an extruder and havent installed it yet. I am trying to decide to mount it on a table or the wall, I am moving soon and thinki g a table would be better. I built a big heavy table and that would work, but I am not sure if a table mount works well or not because I haave never seen one used other than on a wall. Or I could just wait until I move. Iove your videos. Thanks.

  7. Lakin Gamage

    I like pulled handles a lot, but don't do them that often because I feel like I'm not that good at making them, tho I suppose that's why I should be pulling handles more often. Usually I'll do slab handles and smooth the edges with a gentle pulling. I bought a handle cutting ribbon tool, but don't care for it much, I have a hard time using consistent pressure while running the tool thru the clay and I end up with thin and thick spots.

  8. firefly

    I pull and slab mine … never done it with a tool and no extruder … great video though
    I never turn while pulling … they seem pretty even all round though, love indenting it with my thumb

  9. Mary Nelson

    I pull all my handles and once in a great while I use a slab. I don’t feel like the Clay is lined up properly when you just cut it from a block of clay. I think the extruder would be nice – maybe I’ll get one this year. I’ve been a powder for 25 years without one but you never know…🤔😀

  10. janicethepotter

    Hi Jonthepotter… Greetings from janicethepotter. Troublesome couple of years for me… but "I'm back. Thanks for the fun to watch video.


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