MYP Global Context
 Personal and Cultural Expression
 What is the nature and purpose of
creative expression?
Key Objective
 Cultural
 You will gain an understanding of the beginnings of
pottery development in the Neolithic Culture,
specifically the pinch pot.
 You will create a variety of pinch pots based upon your
skill level.
Inquiry Questions
 How were pinch pots used in the Neolithic
 How can I create something of impact?
 What determines if something is functional?
You will be graded upon
Criterion A: Knowledge and Understanding
Do you have a thorough understanding of the topic being studied.
(Vocabulary and short answers)
Criterion B: Application –
Proficiency of your finished piece.
Criterion C: Reflection and evaluation
response to what you learned and the quality of your product.
Criterion D: Artistic Awareness and Personal Engagement
Did you actively participate, show initiative, enthusiasm, and
Vocabulary to define and
 Pinch pot: forming a pot by pinching with the fingers
and the thumb.
 Stoneware: high fire clay – fires at 2,400 degrees
 Greenware: Unfired pottery that is bone-dry, a state in
which clay forms that is quite fragile.
 Earthenware: low fire clay – fires at 1,800 degrees
 Bisque-ware: The term refers to ceramic ware that has
been fired once without glaze.
Vocabulary cont.
 Leather hard: Clay which is dried sufficiently to be stiff, but is
damp enough to be joined to other pieces.
 Score and slip: score means that you make scratches in the
surfaces that you will be sticking together. Slip is when you
wet the surface that creates a glue like substance. If you do not
do this, the pieces will pop apart when fired.
 Texture: The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or
Parts of a pot
Who were the Neolithic
 The Neolithic period began in China around 10,000 B.C.
 These people lived in the later part of the Stone Age,
when ground or polished stone weapons and implements
 In the Neolithic period farm animals were first
domesticated, and agriculture was introduced.
 This is also when people began settlements in permanent
villages, and pottery and weaving appeared.
How did they discover
clay could be hardened?
 They began to use clay pottery for cooking and keeping food
instead of animal skins and grass baskets.
 Clay pottery lasted longer because it could withstand high
 Some archeologists think that clay pottery was invented by
accident when a cook used clay to smooth the inside of a
basket, baked it over a fire, and then found only the clay bowl
left when the basket burned away.
 This discovery improved the quality and comfort of people’s
daily lives.
 Neolithic craftsmen discovered that they could etch
designs into their clay that would harden into permanent
decorations and furthermore that they could color their
products with glazes.
 As a result, pottery became a medium of artistic
expression as well as a source of practical utensils.
Neolithic Pottery
 This was the pre-wheel and pre-kiln era.
 The pottery was much thicker. They added items to them
to make them studier – obsidian, straw, crushed shells,
and manure.
 The pots were created by the women.
 Some textural designs were made by fingernails. They
discovered how to incorporate ash into their clay to give
it a glossy luster look.
Neolithic pottery tools
Neolithic pottery tools
Pinched pots
Symbols of importance –
Dawenkou people, China
Ceramic Vessel
 Probably a pig, a staple of
the Neolithic economy.
 The Dawenkou people
cultivated millet and
domesticated pigs and other
 Head and jaws of pigs were
frequently buried with the
dead as symbols of wealth.
Neolithic Pottery at the
University of Utah Museum of
Fine Arts
Making your Pinch Pot
Step 1 – Make
a smooth ball
of clay.
Your Pinch Pot
Step 2: stick
your thumb
through the
ball of clay.
Pinch Pot
 Step 3: Pinching
evenly with your
fingers and your
thumb in the
hole, press and
rotate to widen
the opening.
Pinch pot
 Thickness of body
should be about ¼ inch.
 If it is too thick, it will
take too long to dry
before it can be placed
in the kiln to fire.
 If it is too thin it will
crack and perhaps
break apart during the
firing process.
Pinch Pot
 Step 4: when your
pinch pot has strong,
even walls, smooth the
surface and the lip with
just a drop or two of
 Do not add too much
water, or the pot will
fall apart.
Pinch Pot – adding feet
 Make a coil to adhere to the
bottom of the pot.
 Slip and score the surfaces
that will be touch each other.
 Lightly blend the inside and
outside of the coil onto the
 Lightly tap to ensure the the
bottom of the foot is slightly
flat, so the pot will not roll
 Check to see if it is centered.
Sign your pot
 Use a needle tool and carve your name
into the bottom.
 Do not press too hard, or you will break
the surface.
Adding texture
 Think of all the items
you could use to create
texture onto the outside
of your pot.
 You have to be gentle
because it is fairly soft,
or you could wait a
couple of days until it is
leather hard to etch
some designs.
Painting after firing
Samples of pinch pots
Create your own
 Now you will create your own pinch pot. I’d like you to
create three and select your favorite to be fired.
 After it is fired, we will paint the surface with acrylic.
 This means it will not be a pot to eat or drink from. We
will use glaze with some future pots.
 Once this skill is mastered, we will create a variety of
ceramic pieces using the same techniques, but with some
variety added in for fun.
Some Creative Pinch Pots

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