Pinch pot

Start with a small ball of clay and hold it in your dominant hand. Using the thumb of your other hand, push in to make a deep indentation. Pulling the clay up with your thumb while holing the clay in with you other hand, begin to form a bowl. Keep the clay turning in your dominant hand much as you would turn a base ball. Carefully pinch the walls until they are all over the same thickness.

Make sure the base is not too thick and the lip not too thin.

Goal one – students will learn how to successfully join clay by scoring, slipping and blending together – then letting it rest in a bag so as to make two pieces of clay into one.

Goal two – students will carve into the project to make a distinctive three dimensional decoration on the two dimensional surface of the three dimensional project. Students will move away from ‘drawing’ on the surface into carving where shadows and edges create images of value and line.

– chose a project type

Bowl with attached foot ring. This bowl must have a distinctive form and edges as well as carved decorations that coordinate with the form and edge.

Box – joining two pinch pots, carving decorations and cutting into two parts that fit together.

‘Creature’ – joining two pinch pots and modeling into a three-dimensional ‘creature’ or some other kind of sculpture. Students will make sure to leave a hole for the air to circulate so the project does not explode in the kiln.

Pinch bowls in ready ...

one pinch pot flared out, one in, both scored and waiting for the slip

the two pinch pots put together - one edge covering the other ...

sealing the edges with your hand (use both - I had to use one to take the photo!)

“Whomping” the seam to seal up the two parts. Make sure the seal is air tight!

By using your hands, or pushing the clay ‘balloon’ against the table you can begin to shape it.

Make sure all additions are slipped and scored - or things might just fall apart in the kiln as it did for this unfortunate mushroom man. This could be fixed with some kiln cement - but many things cannot be fixed.