Coiling is a method of creating pottery. It has been used to shape clay into vessels for many thousands of years. It ranges from Africa to Greece and from China to New Mexico. Using the coiling technique, it is possible to build thicker or taller walled vessels, which may not have been possible using earlier methods. The technique permits control of the walls as they are built up and allows building on top of the walls to make the vessel look bigger and bulge outward or narrow inward with less danger of collapsing. There are many ways to build ceramic objects using the coiling technique. To do this, the potter takes a pliable material (usually clay) then rolls it until it forms a long roll. Then, by placing one coil on top of another, different shapes can be formed.
One of the methods used in terra-cotta sculpture; the clay is rolled into cylindrical strips about the size of an ordinary pencil and wound up to create the desired shape.