Pinch Pot Cup Forms Ceramics I – First day Pinching

no today what I want to do is I would like to show you how to make a simple pinch pot so we can utilize our pinch pots with some glazing techniques in our ceramics one classes we're going to be using earthenware clay and we're going to be doing a scruffy dough technique and we're going to also do me Alec technique we're going to be making two cups and we're going to be glazing them differently now what we're going to start off with is some earthenware clay I'm just gonna wedge some scrap into my hunk here remember that when you wedge the point of wedging is you want to mix the clay together you want to have a nice even consistency of clay moist and dry should be mixed in thoroughly together and it should still be rather plastic mine is a little on the stiffer side yours will be a little bit more classy I'm now going to make it into a ball because since I'm going to do the pinch method starts with a ball so what I'm going to do is I'm going to start with about an orange sized hunk now this is probably about maybe a pound and a quarter or a little bit more what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take my ball if you happen to have a defect like you have a big wrinkled you can make that a spot where you put your thumb in I'm going to stick my thumb into the clay and the ball should be just big enough where you can still reach all the way around with your fingertips and you should be pressing opposite of your thumb so what I'm doing is I'm pressing with my thumb on the inside and I always press the bottom part first so as I do this I'm fitting the bottom on the inside the bottom should be roughly I usually tell people about three of an inch two and a half an inch thick because we can make it a little bit thinner later I'm just gonna switch off because my hand was getting tired but you always want to keep your thumb on the inside and your fingertips on the outside now working from the bottom of the wall up you continue to pinch going up the wall until the wall feels even you have to have a sensitivity with your fingertips to make sure that it all feels like it is an even thickness when you get up to the upper edge you don't want to pinch the upper edge and make it thin you want to keep it the consistency of the rest of the wall so again I'm using about 3/8 of an inch to half an inch thick now on the upper edge sometimes you might get some surface cracking I'm going to just take my thumb but I'm gonna blend over some of that surface cracking now up to this point I have left it rounded okay I have not flattened it out as you see here I haven't flattened it yet the biggest mistake that students make is they do this on the table and if they do it on the table when they pinch usually the form gets really wide and short we're going for cup forms so we want it a little bit taller than it is wide so we keep it as narrow as we need it to be by squeezing in so if yours gets a little wide you just kind of squeeze in gently if you start to see any creasing you immediately take your finger and you blend side to side across any creases if you see creases on the outside you also blend side to side and blend across the creases now once you get it into the approximate shape that you need it to be it's about as the diameter that you need it to be and it's about the height what I'm going to do now is for the very first time I'm going to set it on the table and tap it to get kind of a flat bottom and for this I can kind of take my hands and kind of shake the bottom just the way I want it now I am going to smooth out any bumps that I have on the inside and I'm also going to smooth out any bumps that I may have on the outside okay and that is the start of a pinch cup now once you have the pinch form made then on that very first day we should be able to smooth this outside a little bit more so it's not quite so lumpy if you don't have time to do it on the first day you can do it on the second day you'll just save yourself a little bit of time if you do it now to smooth I'm going to use a yellow rib now I chose to use one of the very small ribs because the small ones will fit inside my pot when I rib I will hold my hand on the inside of the cup and I rib pushing up against my fingers now you can see it is definitely getting rid of some of the lumps in the bumps and you can also see that I'm cleaning off the clay as I read because if I don't I'm just gonna spread that clay back around on the side it's okay you can see this is smoothing quite nicely and again if you don't have time to do this on the first day you can always share form and take it down on the second day this just makes the cleanup on the second day faster okay I'm also going to rib a little bit on the interior and for that I'm going to now position my hand on the outside so I'm breathing pressing it up against my hand that's on the whenever you read you want to make sure that you have support so you're not changing the shape very much you're just scraping or smoothing away the dents okay now one of the last things I can do is I can flip this over and I can smooth it just a little bit more down there at the bottom corner one of the things that I'm looking for is a round bottom that is evenly centered so as I look at this I'm gonna tilt this so you can see as I look at this I look for a round bottom that seems to be evenly centered within the outside if it looks like it's off center then I know that I need to do a little pushing with the rib to recenter it okay now for my students you will be making two of these cups in ceramics one we're gonna be making two of these cups we're going to be allowing them to dry overnight we're going to be writing our initials on the bottom you're going to be putting your bail okay so you put your initials your bail then you're going to take it and you're going to position it upside down on a wear board you can put several from your table on a ware Board and you're going to leave it uncovered in the class cabinet tomorrow when you come in it should be leather hard at which time you will be cleaning it and we'll finish it up and have a really nice little form and that's day one on the pinch pots


  1. Sarah Robbins

    Thanks so much. I tried ceramics for the first time today and we started with a pinch pot which turned out really cracked and thin at the top. Yours is really simple and lovely. Thanks!


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