Whether you are pinching a cup or throwing a bowl, thinking about the addition of a foot will add character and elevate your piece. Feet are not a necessity, and don’t impact the functionality of the object you are making. However, the addition of a foot to a bowl can change the entire perception of your object.
There are many way to add a foot to your piece, both for handbuilding or wheel throwing practice. There are different ways to add a foot to a hand-built objects. The most basic of feet is a foot ring that appears as a hollowed-out ring underneath the pot or bowl. You can do this by attaching a coil at the bottom of an object and connecting the coil to the outside of the object to match the external form. When wheel throwing, you can create a foot while trimming the base. Simply hollow out the side of the base leaving a ring that is level with the outside shape.
There are many types of feet that you can attach to your piece. Feet are best added or trimmed when the object is just leather hard. It is preferred to use the same clay and slip when attaching a foot. Plan to add the feet after you have finished manipulating the body and can place your object in an inverted position securely. Always cover your object fully and let it dry slowly after adding any kind of foot to ensure the connections are bound well and no cracks will form and weaken the base of your object.
The scale and proportion of the foot or feet can be adapted to suite your design and form. Things to consider when creating feet is the overall balance of your object and the overall design. A foot can act like a pedestal to your piece to sit on, or the feet can be a deisgn feature to highlight and complement your overall vision. Feet can be pierced, shaped, carved and textured in endless possibilities. There are many ways to bring a unique character to simple cylinder shape with the strategic addition of 3 clay pebbles as an example.
Feet come in all shapes and sizes, here are a few common ones. A doughnut foot, coiled foot, nodule feet, pod type feet, tall foot, inverted bowl foot and pushed out foot. Decorated feet can be anatomical in shape or caricature like. Feet can be symbolic, geometric or an abstract form. Whichever kind of foot you choose, remember it will bring a new depth to your work and differentiate your piece to reflect your uniqueness.
Should you consider putting a foot on your next project, here are a few tips:
Use a pencil to make the place to join the feet.
When applying the feet, it should be just before leather hard so you can manipulate the shape and the angle and flare the edges.
Don’t forget that hollow shaped feet must have a needle poked thought hem to allow the air to escape.