How To Guide

How to Make a Double Pinch Pot: A Comprehensive Guide

Creating a double-pinch pot is a fascinating and enjoyable way to explore the versatile world of pottery. This method involves molding two pinch pots and joining them together to form a unified piece. This comprehensive guide will walk you through making a double pinch pot, detailing each step. Let’s dive in and get started!


Gathering Materials and Tools:

Before making your double-pinch pot, you must gather some essential materials and tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Clay: Choose a clay body suitable for hand-building, such as earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain.
  • Needle tool or sharp knife: You’ll need a tool to cut and score the clay.
  • Potter’s rib or wooden modeling tool: A tool to smooth and shape the clay.
  • Sponge and water: To help smooth the surface and moisten the clay.
  • Slip: A mixture of clay and water that acts as a “glue” to combine clay pieces.
  • A clean, flat work surface: A canvas-covered table or a portable workboard is ideal.
  • A rolling pin or clay roller (optional): This will help you create a flat base for your pot, but it is unnecessary.

Preparing the Clay:

Start by wedging the clay to remove air bubbles and ensure a consistent texture throughout the clay body. Divide your clay into two equal portions, setting aside one piece for each half of your double-pinch pot. Roll each portion into a smooth, round ball.

Creating the First Pinch Pot:

Select one of the clay balls to form the first half of your double-pinch pot. Hold the clay ball in one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to press down into the center of the ball, creating an indentation. Be careful not to push through the clay.

Using your fingers, gently pinch and turn the clay, gradually thinning the walls and creating a hollow, cup-like shape. As you work, use your thumb on the inside and your fingers on the outside to maintain an even thickness throughout the pot. If the clay begins to dry, use a sponge and water to keep it moist.

Continue pinching and turning until you have achieved the desired size and shape for the first half of your double-pinch pot. Smooth the inside and outside surfaces using a potter’s rib or wooden modeling tool.

Creating the Second Pinch Pot:

Follow the same process to create the second pinch pot using the remaining clay ball. Aim to make this pot the same size and shape as the first one. Remember to keep the clay moist with a sponge and water as needed.

Joining the Two Pinch Pots:

Before joining the two pinch pots, carefully check that they are of similar size and shape. If necessary, make any adjustments by pinching or smoothing the clay.

When you’re satisfied with the size and shape of both pinch pots, score the edges where they will be joined. Scoring involves making minor, shallow cuts or scratches on the surface of the clay to create a better bond when the pieces are joined.

Next, apply a thin slip layer to the scored edges of both pinch pots. This will help to create a strong bond between the two halves.

Carefully align the two pinch pots and press their scored edges together, ensuring that the pots are correctly aligned. Smooth the seam using your fingers or a wooden modeling tool, blending the clay to create a seamless join.

Creating a Base (Optional):

If you’d like to add a base to your double pinch pot, roll out a slab of clay to the desired thickness and shape using a rolling pin or clay roller. Place your double-pinch pot onto the slab, making sure it is centered. Use a needle tool or sharp knife to trace around the bottom edge of the pot, cutting away the excess clay.

Score the edges of both the pot and the slab and apply a thin layer of slip to the scored areas. Press the pot and the slab together, ensuring proper alignment. Use your fingers or a wooden modeling tool to smooth the seam and blend the clay, creating a seamless connection between the pot and the base.

Adding Decorative Elements:

Now that your double pinch pot is assembled, you can add decorative elements to personalize your creation. This could include carving patterns or designs into the surface of the clay, adding texture using stamps or found objects, or attaching small clay embellishments such as handles, feet, or coils. Be sure to score and slip any areas where clay is joined to ensure a strong bond.

Drying and Firing:

Once you’ve completed your double pinch pot, allowing it to dry thoroughly before firing is essential. Place the pot in a well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight, and allow it to dry slowly and evenly. Depending on the size and thickness of your pot, this can take several days to a week or more.

When the pot is completely dry, it’s ready for firing. The specific firing process will depend on the type of clay and the desired finished appearance. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for your clay body and follow the recommended firing schedule for the best results.

Glazing and Final Firing:

After the initial firing, your double pinch pot is ready for glazing. Choose a glaze that is compatible with your clay body and desired finish. Apply the glaze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring even coverage.

Once the glaze is dry, load your pot into the kiln for its final firing. After the firing is complete and the kiln has cooled, carefully remove your finished double pinch pot and admire your handiwork! Follow the glaze manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate firing schedule.


Advanced Techniques for Double Pinch Pots:

As you become more comfortable creating double pinch pots, you can explore advanced techniques to add complexity and interest to your designs. Some ideas include:

  • Experimenting with asymmetrical shapes, where the two halves of the pot are not identical in size or shape.
  • Creating multi-chambered pots by joining more than two pinch pots together.
  • Incorporating sculptural elements, such as figures or animals, into your double pinch pot design.
  • Exploring alternative surface treatments, such as applying colored slips or underglazes to create intricate patterns or designs.

Tips for Success:

To ensure the best results when making a double pinch pot, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Work with well-wedged clay to avoid air bubbles and improve the overall consistency of your clay body.
  • Maintain an even thickness throughout both halves of your pot to promote even drying and reduce the risk of cracking.
  • Allow your pot to dry slowly and evenly to minimize warping or cracking during drying.
  • Be mindful of the glazes you choose, as certain glazes may not be suitable for functional pottery, such as food-safe dishes or containers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you combine two pinch pots?

To combine two pinch pots, score the edges of both pots where they will be joined. Apply slip to the scored areas and press the pots together, ensuring proper alignment. Use your fingers or a wooden modeling tool to smooth the seam and blend the clay, creating a seamless connection between the two pots.

What is the purpose of a pinch pot?

The primary purpose of a pinch pot is to create a functional or decorative piece of pottery using a simple, hands-on technique. Pinch pots can be used for various purposes, such as holding small items, serving food, or as decorative art pieces. The versatility and ease of the pinch pot technique make it a popular starting point for beginners in ceramics. At the same time, its potential for artistic expression continues to engage more experienced potters.

Conclusion

Creating a double-pinch pot is a rewarding and enjoyable process that allows you to explore the versatile world of pottery. By following these steps and adding your personal touch, you can create a unique and beautiful piece of functional or decorative art. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes, sizes, and decorative elements – endless possibilities! Happy potting!

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