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handbuilding method


by JuliannaKunstler.com



A bowl made this way is called a pinch pot, because of the way the clay is squeezed between the thumb and fingers to form the walls.



Always wedge clay before you start a project.
Start with a ball of clay about the size of a fist.

The first step to making your pinch pot is to start the opening. Cradle
the ball of clay in one hand and gently press the end of your thumb into the clay.

A good method is to press down a bit with your thumb and then give the clay a bit of a turn — press down some more and then give it another little turn. This helps to keep the hole you are making
centered and the walls an even thickness.

When you sense that you are getting close to the other side of the clay ball, stop before you go through.

Gently press the clay from the inside with your thumb against your fingers on the outside. Each time you press a bit with your thumb, give the clay a bit of a turn before you press again.
It doesn't matter if you turn the pot clockwise or counterclockwise, just work in a way that seems natural to you.

If you curve your fingers slightly, you can control the shape a bit better and make a more rounded form.

If your fingers are held flat against the outside, the pot rim will flare out more to make an open bowl shape.

Experiment to see what kinds of forms you can make. Continue the pinching and turning method until the walls of the pot are thinned out to a thickness that seems about right to you.

The main thing to remember while working is to try for an even wall thickness as you pinch your way around the bowl.

Use slightly damp sponge to smooth the sides and the top edge of the bowl.

You can create texture on the outside of the pot by pressing objects
into the wall or by carving some patterns onto the surface. Once the
pinch pot has dried out a little bit, it can be burnished. You can use a
smooth stone or the back of an old spoon to rub the surface of the pot.
The more you rub the surface, the shinier it will get.
People have been using this same pottery technique for about 20,000


After the bisque firing - start glazing with the INSIDE of the bowls. Evenly apply 3 coats.


Then glaze the outside. (3 coats) Do not leave any unglazed spots. Look thoroughly to doublecheck you did not miss a spot.

Then clean the bottom of the pinch pot with a wet sponge to remove any accidental glaze you might get there.