2 Pinch Pot

Methods of forming pottery: Hand-shaping
was the earliest method used to form vessels.
This included the combination of pinching and
A thumb pot (or pinch pot) is an ancient form of
pottery and it is the simplest form of pottery.
The pinching method is a means to create
pottery that can be ornamental or functional,
and has been widely employed across cultures
and times.
For archaeologists, anthropologists and
historians the study of pottery can help to
provide an insight into past cultures.
Pottery is durable, and fragments, at least, often
survive long after artifacts made from lessdurable materials such as grasses, bone, or glass
decayed or been distroyed past recognition.
Combined with other evidence, the study of
pottery artifacts is helpful in the development of
theories on the organization, economic
condition and the cultural development of the
societies that produced or acquired pottery.
Pinch pot vases are
reasonably simple to
make and so, are a
great beginning
project. These vases
incorporate the pinch
pot method and
scoring and slipping
with additive features.
Continued Impressive Pinch Pot Vases
Students learn the parts of a vase, devise five types of their
own creation drawing them as thumbnail sketches before
they are given clay, and produce at least three of their ideas.
Designs are impressed, or stamped into two separate clay
buttons for two sides of the pot.
Finally, students will test different glazes on the vases.
Familiarity with the medium one is working with is
important in the creation of art.
 Students will understand and practice manipulation
of the type of clay available to them.
 Students will discover and perfect basic construction
methods and decorative methods, as well as
observing the qualities of basic commercial glazes
over textured and smooth surfaces.
 This is also a good time for students to learn how to
set up, put away, and properly use the equipment,
materials, and tools they need to create their
Here are some pointers for creating pinch pots:
work in a spiral from bottom to top
use the tip of your thumb on the interior, while supporting the exterior with your other hand
minor stretch cracks can be left as a textural effect, if desired
deep cracks should be welded immediately using a tiny amount of slurry or slip
rims can be left untrimmed or they can be trimmed with a potter's needle when the pot is leatherhard
the pot can be smoothed, or even burnished with a wooden rib, when the pot is leather-hard
Read, quiz and think
Design and draw
Create 3 separate pots (see next slide if you need
extra time to work on the pot)
Finish smooth or texture
Air dry, after one- two days it should be leather-hard
Leather hard can be cut or add-on pieces with score
and slip method
Complete dry
Bisque fire (cone 04)
Glaze pot AND use wax resist on the bottom of the
Final fire (cone 06)
Taking a Break
Pinched forms can take more time to create than we have in one
sitting. When you have to leave your work while it is in progress, place
damp paper towels across the top row. Cover the entire piece with plastic.
If you should need the bottom of the pot to stiffen slightly, leave some
gaps where the plastic meets the table or shelf. Otherwise, tuck the plastic
under the support surface. If the humidity is high, add a layer of newspaper or
cloth in between the pot and the plastic. This will absorb any condensation,
which could otherwise make your pot collapse.
Wax Resist
Definition: Wax Resist (noun) is a waxy substance used to prevent slips
or glazes from adhering onto the clay body or a prior coating of slip, etc.
A resist is especially helpful in keeping glaze from adhering to a pot's
base, and in the case of a lidded jar, from keeping the areas the lid and
the jar meet free from glaze.
In the past, wax resists where simply melted wax; today there are a
number of wax emulsions, including many which are water-based.
Wax resist can also used in decoration. The resist can be used both under
or over underglazes, glazes, and slips to create designs.
with wax
on the
on the
After wax is
applied, it is
cut away
glazing to
keep some
of the pot
What is the oldest method of pot making? A. slab rolling B. coiling pots C. purchase at Walmart D.
Pinch pots
Who studies “old pots” to discover about civilizations? A. archeologist B. historians
C. anthropologists D. all of the above
How many sketches minimum do you need to make before you get your clay? A. 1 B. 3 C. 5 D. 7
What is score and slip? A. a new type of pizza B. making grooves on wet/leather hard clay and using the
slip as a glue C. a baseball term D. none of the above
What is the top of the vase called? A. mouth B. neck C. body D. base
A glaze is: A. applied after the bisque fire B. a chemical C. adds color or protection to a pot D. all of the
How is wax resist used: A. to remove unwanted hair B. keep glaze from the bottom of a pot C. for
crayon drawings D. never as a decorative property
What is leather hard? A. a Marine term B. used to make saddles C. point where clay is hard but not dry
D. last stage in pottery making
Cone 04 is the firing level for: A. glazes B. first fire C. last fire D. never used
If you run out of time in class and your pot is not done: A. give up B. ask for a pass for PE C. cover the
pot with plastic and damp paper D. Throw the pot away
Ancient Pottery, Pinch Pot Student Evaluation
Dated ________________
10 9 8 7 6 5 Other
10 9 8 7 6 5 Other
10 9 8 7 6 5 Other
PATTERNS/TEXTURES 10 9 8 7 6 5 Other
10 9 8 7 6 5 Other
One aspect about this project that I learned
7. Did you wax resist the bottom of the pots to keep
glaze from the shelf? YES NO
8. Was this a project you would consider revising for
your final?

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