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Unit Two, Instructions:
Pinch Pot Construction and Impressed Designs

Students, these instructions give you the information you need so you can do these assignments on your own. Even if you don't have a teacher you can learn about ceramics.

Pinch Pot Vases

Examples of Pinch Pots

Project Instructions

  1. After you take a look at the examples above, follow along with your teacher to practice making pinch pots or if you are doing this on your own, go to the resources page to link to how-to pages. Your first project will be a pinch pot vase. To do this, form two pinch pots about the same size and join them together by scoring and slipping them. Smooth the edges so that you cannot see the transition.

    Making the pinch pots

    Putting them together

    Joining the pinch pots

  2. Next, cut a hole where you want to add a neck. if the clay is still soft, you can simply add a coil here for your neck. If it is leather hard, you will need to score and slip that area before adding a coil.

  3. Set your vase on the table. Look at it from all sides. The next step is to add a foot to it. Look at some pictures of different types of vases. What should your foot look like? It can be wide or narrow, flaring or straight, short or tall. Make a decision and add your foot.

  4. Designs: The type of design that we will add to this pot is and impressed design. It is very much like what is called stamping. An item is pressed into the clay to make a mark as opposed to being dragged or scratched. Using the top or bottom of a paper or plastic cup to define your shapes, impress an oval or circle into two opposing sides of your vase. Next, find any firm object to impress designs into the shapes. Create a pattern through repetition.

Pinch Pot Vase Rubric

Use the rubric to see the expectations for each vase. You should make at least ten thumbnail sketches of different types of pinch pots before you start.

Student Examples of Pinch Pot Vases


Pinch Pot Whistles

Great Examples of Clay Instruments Created and Played by Clay Artists

Examples of Animal Whistles

Project Instructions

  1. For this pinch pot project, you will need first to learn how to make a whistle that actually makes a sound. This may be more difficult than it sounds. For some really good step-by-step instructions, you can use this How to Make a Ceramic Whistle Handout [ms word format] [rich text file format] or you can go to:
  2. Once you have mastered creating a functioning whistle, you can get creative.  You can go to the above links to see some pictures of various clay whistles. The Resources page also has whistle links.
  3. Extra Creative Animal Whistles: Decide what animal you want to represent and do some thumbnail sketches of it until you have worked out how you will make your whistle. Some of the problems you encounter might be:
Where will the mouthpiece be? 

How will I incorporate the air hole into my design so that the whistle will still work?

Can I make the animal without small thin pieces that might break?

How can I add pieces to my whistle form without blocking the flow of air?

  1. Once your whistle is made, it needs to dry. You will want it to dry slowly. Lightly drape a piece of plastic over it for a few days and then take the plastic off and let it dry for a few more days. It is important that you ensure that it is completely dry before you fire it in the kiln.
  2. When you take it out of the kiln, the clay will be very porous and will tend to absorb paint that you put on it. For this reason it is important to seal the surface with a primer. I just use regular latex paint primer or artists' acrylic paint primer.
  3. After the primer is dry, you can mix the colors you want on a palette and paint your creature.

Whistle Rubric [ms word format] [rich text file format]

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