Lets talk about lids

Hi there, sorry there was no blog last week, its been an unexpectedly hectic around here. This is going to be a slight departure from the usual post that I do. I want to talk about lids and specifically about type and style. So think of this as more of an analysis to give you ideas, rather than hard technique and how to’s.

*Note than none of the images below, nor the featured image is my work and were all found via a google search for ceramic jars and lids

Essentially there are 2 kinds of lids and 3 ways to do them.

The first sits over the rim of the jar. Basically you’re making a bowl to sit on top of the jar or vase.



Creating them is a pretty simple process of just making a bowl that fits over the rim of the jar. Not exactly a complicate process, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be elegant or sophisticated. To me the key to this kind of lid is in the simplicity. It works well with simple, cleanly shaped pieces and as an extension of those lines. It also works best by being a continuation of the glazing aesthetic as you can see in the first two pics or by being an accent as seen in the last one.

Again, this is just  my opinion and my aesthetic. You are welcome to disagree and do it however you want.

The other type of lid sits in the opening of the jar/vase. It tens to be more popular and has a sub grouping to it as well. The simplest for is to just have a lid with a carved flange sitting in the piece.

As you can see these lids will be a little more ornate and almost complimentary pieces to the jar or vase that they cover. They all have handles or nobs that can range from the simple to the intricate and complex. This style of lid is a little more complicated to throw, but not by much and is essentially a double wall vessel.  When taken to a further extreme, this style of lid can also become a butter bell.

The most common form of jar/lid relationship you see though, is a sub group f the one before. The difference though isn’t in the lid, its in the jar. It requires carving a galley into the wall of piece so the lid can nestle into the jar.

You can see the subtle difference in how the lid sits into the jar or vase. Its more or less flush with the rim, not sitting on top of it. Creating the galley to allow this to happen isn’t the more difficult thing in the world, but it will  take time and practice to get it right.

A couple of final notes on lids.

There is another way t make a jar with a perfectly sitting lid. Create a close form vessel and then cut it into 2 pieces. You can read more about that in a previous post.

Also, just because you threw a ceramic jar, doesn’t mean you have to make a ceramic lid. There are plenty of pieces with cork lids out there and they look great.

Cork is pretty cheap and works very well with simple straight lined pieces.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative with the nob on the lid. You can see some interesting interpretations above, but remember almost anything goes, including using outside materials like wood.

So have fun and experiment. next week I’ll have demo and instructions on how to make lids.

Till then get into the studio and make something.

Questions on the technique, email me at sparanoarts@gmail.com, like what I’m doing feel free to join my email list  and get 10% off your next purchase on my Etsy store , make sure to check you spam or gmail promotions folder for the reply email! Also, if you like my advice,I have begun filming daily pottery tips on my YouTube channel. So please subscribe!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: