Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday's Art Adventure: Pinch Pots

Time for a 3-D adventure. I am going to work through different pottery building techniques using oven bake clay during these art adventures, and today I will start with the most basic: pinch pots.

Pinch Pots
  • oven bake clay (I use Sculpey, just because)
  • Scissors (optional)

Sculpey clay (or fimo or others) comes in either individual packages or multi packs. 

The colors in the multi packs are usually smaller, but really just go with what fits your budget. I scored my Sculpey on a 40% off sale. I used one individual pack for my pinch pot.

The first thing you need to do is squeeze and knead the clay to warm it up and make it more pliable. It depends on how stiff the clay is whether or not your child can do this or if you need to do it for them.

Once it is pliable, roll it into a ball.

Press your thumbs down into the clay making a well.

Start pinching the clay between your thumb and fingers. Move all around the whole pot.

It will naturally open up. You can alter the shape by pushing and pinching the walls the direction you desire.

You can then use a pencil tip or toothpick to carve decoration into the surface (you can use clay modeling tools as well, but I'm going the assumption that you don't have them and you don't need to buy them.)if you want subtle decoration.

Or you can take another color, use the scissors to snip of the amount you will need. Scissors makes it easier than tearing. Knead it and warm up the clay.

In the example, I rolled some like a snake and lightly pushed it onto the pinch pot where I wanted it. (The clay will cling together which helps, but be sure to apply some pressure to make sure it stays.)** I also just formed some simple leaves and added them to the vines.

Preheat the oven to 275°F (double check your brand's instructions) and put some foil on a baking sheet. Place your pinch pot(s) on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes per 6mm thick.

Be sure to let your clay creations cool before handling, but then they will be hard and permanently set.

Pinch pots don't have to stay open, you can close them in if you want to, 
An example made from regular clay, unglazed. Pinch pot that was mostly closed in.

or connect more together. It depends on the age of your child, how far to push it. Start basic, and just know that there is more to the simple pinch pot to explore.

For young children, you can try using a product like Model Magic instead. It is softer and easier for small hands and it air dries.

**No doubt there are some potters among you who want to tell me the appropriate way to attach the vines and leaves. And yes, with real clay, just applying pressure is not correct technique. But with Scupley clay it is enough. :)
Also, I had Matt photo me with the hopes of clear pictures. I just couldn't teach, make and photo all at once. I know you are used to seeing the boys but they don't always pose very well. :)

Next week's adventure: another master artist. Same bat time. Same bat channel.

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  1. Fun idea! I think my girls would enjoy this. :-)

  2. Beautiful...!!! Another kid friendly idea...!!


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