Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinch Pots

Our 2nd and 3rd Grade students are creating Pinch Pots from clay!
For this lesson, we began by talking about the properites of clay.  How is it different than Play-doh?  Where does it come from?  Then we talked about what we can do with clay.  Do we throw it?  Do we roll it?

As part of many art lessons, we learn about the history associated with the lesson.  For this lesson, we discussed Greek Pottery.  Greek pots were functional in purpose.  They could not buy pots and bowls at Wal-Mart so they needed to create their own.  We looked at a few ancient Greek pots for examples.
Pottery with Red Figure
Pottery with Black Figure

We then moved on to the creative process in art.  The students began by exploring the clay.  They rolled the clay into a ball, flattened it into a pancake and became familiar with it's properties. We then began to make our Pinch Pots.  I asked the students to pay particular attention to the thickness of the walls of their pots.  The walls should be as thick as an eraser or as an Oreo cookie.  The students then used a wooden tool to draw decorations on the side of their pot and finally to write their name on the bottom of their pot.
These are pictures of just a few of our many pinch pots

3rd Grade Pinch Pot

3rd Grade Pinch Pot 
Tray of Leatherhard Pinch pots
The pinch pots dry for 2-3 days from a leatherhard stage to a greenware stage.  The pots are then fired in our Kiln.  They "bake" in the kiln for about 8 hours and reach a temperature or about 2,000 degrees Farenheit.  When they are removed from the kiln, they are considered bisque ware.
These are some pictures of bisque ware pots:

Pinch Pots that have been fired in the Kiln

 The Pinch Pots are then painted with a glaze.  The students were permitted to pick one color for the glaze as the colors run together.
Painting the pinch pots

The pots are then set to dry for one more day.  When the glaze is dry, they are put into the Kiln for another firing.  Then are fired to Cone 06 again.
Bisqueware painted with Glaze

Pots painted with Glaze

Finally the Pinch Pots are placed back into the Kiln to fire again for about 8 hours until they reach "Cone 06" temperature.  This is the finished product:

Bright Blue Glazed Pinch Pot

Pinch Pots

Pink Glazed Pinch Pot

Purple glazed Pinch Pot


  1. Nice work- love the intensity of the glazes. Have you tried "WonderGlaze"? It comes in lots of fun colors, and fires without a clear glaze, and is not as runny as others might be. The colors are also a little more identifiable in the "raw" state. I love em, if you can't already tell.

  2. No, I have not tried WonderGlaze. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!