Some Pottery Photos

17 Aug

Hi, Guys

I thought you might enjoy seeing a couple of photos of different pinch pot creations. I don’t have time to photograph steps for another How-To pinch pot post right now–I’ll try to get to it this coming week. If you want to try out any of these projects, you do need to know one or two things, so I’ll just tell you quickly . . .

First: whenever you join two pieces of clay (in most cases), you need to rough up the surfaces that will be joined. Scratch them with a plastic fork, or to make a better tool, cut little pointy teeth out of the edge of an old gift card or a bit of plastic from an old food container or whatever you’ve got, then use this toothed tool to scratch up the surfaces–do a thorough job.

Second: wet one of the scratched (scored) surfaces with a bit of water–just use an old artist’s paint brush. This is the only thing you’re allowed to use water for when making pinch pots! And don’t use more water than necessary. I don’t give my kids water because they can’t control themselves and they end up dissolving their pots, but you guys can handle it, right . . . ?

Wiggle and press and smooth the two pieces together until they’re well stuck.

Third: whenever you join pieces of clay together, you need to dry the pot more carefully, so cover your creation with a plastic sheet or grocery bag for a day or two. Otherwise, the joined pieces might come apart.

So, here are some photos of things you can do with pinch pots. If you have a preference, tell me which one(s) you’d like instructions on and I’ll try to accommodate you. The teapot and whistle are advanced projects, though, so it’ll be a little while before I get to them.

I made the little rabbit hole with tree roots hugging it to show to my students. I tell them their pinch pot is like a rabbit’s hole and they mustn’t make the opening too large or foxes will get in and eat their baby bunnies.

My daughter Cheri (16) made this frog house with the frog and snail. The mushroom is made of two pinch pots–the cap and the stalk–fastened together and embellished with windows, doors, shingles, etc.

We did a whole village of these little frogs with their abodes. Some of the kids sculpted other animals, birds, etc., instead of the frogs. These two little amphibians are mine. One of the perks of the job–you get to make cool stuff.

I have some home-made clay roulettes that I use to add textures such as this one on the goblet. I’ll show you how to make them at some point–they’re not difficult. The funny looking piece on the bottom is a maraca or rattle. We did a class on musical clay and this was my sample project.

The teapot is a very large pinched pot with pinched lid and slab-built/pinched spout and tripod feet with a pulled handle. It has a built-in strainer for loose leaf tea. I just sold it, so I had to make another one (only different)–it’s drying now.

This little dragon whistle plays a four-note scale. My daughter wanted to paint him, so he’s the only piece here that’s not glazed. Glazing pots isn’t an absolute requirement unless you’re going to put food in them, and painting with acrylic can be very effective on the right sort of piece.

I hope you enjoyed my photo show and I look forward to posting how-to’s on some of these soon.

God bless,


4 Responses to “Some Pottery Photos”

  1. teaescapade August 24, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    WOW! Your pottery is adorable! I’ll have to spend some more time going through your blog.

    God Bless!

  2. cindyinsd August 25, 2008 at 4:09 am #

    Thanks, Teaescapade! 🙂

    It’s not a very big site yet as I only started it a couple of weeks ago, but it will grow . . . Your site is a lot of fun to look through.

    And God bless you back 😉


  3. Ellen Springwind December 10, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for writing about clay. I recently experimented with making a rattle out of clay. I was disappointed with the sound it made. I used black beans inside. I tried other things too. It sounded dull. Do you have any hints?
    Blessings on your work,
    Ellen Springwind

    • cindyinsd December 10, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

      Hi, Ellen

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m surprised you got any sound at all from the beans–or did you add them after firing? Typically anything that can burn will burn out in the kiln. If you’re looking for pellets to use in an already fired rattle, you might try gravel for a hard, bright sound–or for a softer sound, I’ve heard that rice works nicely.

      I make little clay pellets and wrap them in tissue to keep them from sticking to the inside of the rattle. People have been known to use finer pellets, or to grate clay to make little rice-like clay bits. You’d want to add the smaller stuff after both they and the rattle had ceased to be sticky, or else you’d just end up with a cohesive mass inside. You should not use pebbles, as they can harbor moisture and explode during firing. Also, they’re of uncertain composition and may melt together if they have a lower fusing temp than your clay’s recommended firing temperature.

      Do make a couple of pinholes in your rattle and be sure you don’t close them up as you pull out the needle tool. This prevents your rattle from exploding due to trapped, expanding air. Theoretically you can fire a bisque load slowly enough to avoid this explosion, but I wouldn’t risk it.

      I find that different clays make different sounds and, in my experience, rattles sound better after bisque firing than after glaze firing. You might therefore get better sound from low-fire clay, as it doesn’t vitrify as much as mid-high range stoneware. I haven’t tried porcelain, but I would expect it to be difficult to work with for this application. Another alternative may be to only bisque fire your rattles and use paint for a finish. Or you could do a very low bisque (^020-^010) and smoke fire them, then apply wax to enhance the colors and sheen.

      Have fun! Cindy

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