Putting basic shapes together you can make simple models but soon you will need to go into ‘edit mode’.
Spinning and extruding are two basic techniques for making 3D shapes.
Blender Edit Mode
Edit mode allows you select and edit the vertices, edges and faces of an object. In edit mode you can ‘add geometry’ by creating new vertices, edges and faces.
The following tutorials are a good introduction to edit mode –
Red Jet a useful model for animating and games
Spin (Lathe Tool)
Similar to extrusion in that a 2D outline is used but the outline is turned around an axis to create a 3D shape.
The process is similar to a lathe that spins and a glass blower spinning the tube he blows down. It is good for making models such as wooden chair/table legs, bowls, vases, plates, goblets, chess pieces, columns, plinths, engineering parts, etc.
On way to make a 3D shape is to draw an outline in 2D and extrude it (similar to pastry, cutters, a jigsaw cutting wood, play-dough factory etc.) .
In the following tutorial an outline of a spoon is drawn. The outline is filled then extruded to make a 3D shape.
The 3D flat spoon is then shaped using other techniques i.e. applying a Subdivision Surface modifier and moving vertices with Proportional Editing enabled.
Click here for a spider diagram of modelling techniques.