Clay Pinch Pot Workshop_page
Clay Pinch Pot Workshop
from The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge

KS2 Art
National Curriculum: Primary Art.

Learning Objectives
Pupils should be taught: to increase their proficiency in the handling of different materials

1. identify the materials used in the production of earthenware pottery
2. identify techniques used in producing clay forms
3. create a simple pot using the techniques outlined
4. decorating that form
5. realise that there are contemporary artists who create art as a living....understand the motivations behind the choice of art as a career
6. to review what they and others have done, say what they think and feel about it and what they might change




Clay Pinch Pot Workshop

Suggested Classroom Activity

Fitzwilliam education staff member Alison Ayres demonstrates how to make a clay pinch pot with a lid that is then decorated as a creature. This workshop is inspired by the large ceramic owl by potter Robert Wallace Martin in their collection.

The six films show the key stages of the clay pinch pot workshop. This workshop was delivered in one ninety minute session with a group of Year 9 pupils. If you wanted to extend the workshop to include painting the pot then the clay needs to be fully dry.


Large ceramic owl by potter Robert Wallace Martin

This short film shows our group of Year 9 pupils exploring The Fitzwilliam Museum ceramic collection and choosing an object to investigate further. They question a curator as to how and why it was made.

You can start your workshop by watching this film or go straight to the next video.

Video 1. Introduction

How to make a pinch pot

An overview of what is covered in this workshop, types of clay and first steps

take a lump of clay

twist it in two equal size pieces

Video 2. How to make a pinch pot

Make a small pot shape with your clay

stick your thumb into the centre

pinch and turn



Video 3. Bring the two pinch pots together

Flatten the top of your pot

fit the two halves together

smooth the sides with your thumb

Video 4. Adding clay using slip

Make groove marks on both surfaces

apply the slip to the grooves

tidy up the joint with a tool



Video 5. Using tools to add texture

Test out different mark making techniques

add a variety of textures and patterns


Video 6. End product

Photograph your work and send it to our gallery

Development Activity

Make a slip-decorated plate using our interactive activity Slipdecorator.

You can also show the pupils the work of potters Mike Eden , Judith Rowe or Paul Scott

You can also try our Clay coil pot workshopled by artist Mike Eden which he dleivers with a Yr6 group. This workshop builds on some of the skills introduced here

Research, Notes and Links
Six workshop videos and one What found video

Lesson plan Clay pinch pot workshop page

Download lesson notes here

We now supply kits for some of the workshops featured on Culture Street including a clay workshop kit which has all the materials you would need to deliver this workshop with a class of 30 pupils.

Go to our shop to buy this kit