Pinch Pots

Pinch Pots are created by using your hands to hand press and shape the clay.
Small bowls to very large vessels can be created by pinching the clay.  
Pinch pots are some of the oldest archeological artifacts found.  
Many civilizations used pinch pots for functional use, even today.  

Materials Needed for this project:
 (1) 1 pound clay ball, wedged and prepared
(2) burnishing tool
This project can be performed while sitting or standing

Begin by compressing your clay into a ball with your hands.
Make sure your clay has adequate moisture.  
While compressing the clay if it becomes stiff or shows
cracks, slice it up and add a small amount of water.
 Re  Wedging your clay, form your ball and compress again.

Start with a nice solid clay ball.

Holding your ball as shown, use your thumb and push down
creating a well in the center of the ball.

Create a deep enough well, however,
not too deep as to push through the bottom of the pot.
Hold your ball in your hands as shown while working with the clay.

Using your thumb and index finger, literally press the clay upward
 with each movement of your fingers.  

Beginning at the bottom of your piece, working the clay upward
forming the wall and size of your pot.

Keep in mind the object is to maneuver the clay in a motion
 that will spiral the clay upwards creating a wall.   

Do this completely around the pot while pressing the clay
slightly upward with each pinch or push of the clay.
It is important to try and keep consistent movements while
pinching or pressing.

Pinch your clay upward inside the pot until you come back
 where you started drawing your top inward.

Move your fingers up and begin a new row.

 Each time you have completed a circle around the inside of the pot,
begin again on a new row until you have all of your clay pinched up.  

Once you have reached the top, begin again at the bottom
 and work the wall upwards again.  

You are working at achieving a nice thin wall approximately
 3/8 of an inch, or thicker.  

Once you have completed shaping your piece you can flatten the bottom.

Holding your pot as shown,
gently tap your pot on a flat surface to

form a nice flat bottom.

After you have finished pinching your pot
use your fingers to check for lumps, too much clay bunched up etc.
Using your fingers smooth the outside surface checking for lumps or undistributed clay.

Set your piece aside covering with plastic allowing to dry until not quite leather hard.

After the piece has dried somewhat you can sign the bottom and begin
 Burnishing your piece if you want to.   

To burnish your pot, use a spoon rubbing the clay body in
up and down motions.  You can use this process to smooth out the clay body
and create a smooth shiny surface to your pot.  

Set your piece in a sunny dry area in your home to dry.  
It will get bone dry and then can be fired.

This piece was pinched, burnished with a spoon,
glazed and raku fired.

Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions

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