Analysis of Pinch Pots.
In this form, the product made is something that can not only be used as a functional vessel to hold something, but it can also be used as a form of expression as well.
These expressions are often hints of the individual, to which we can see on the example to the right, a piece I have made in my own leisure. Each fingerprint is left in different variations, all conspiring with each other in some sort of natural harmony. This piece was intentionally left unglazed as to further focus on the natural texture that these finger prints leave behind.
Techniques and Guide.
Often or not we collect the clay into some ball like shape. We then proceed to make a thumb like hole in the center. This is the base that pretty much all pinch pots start off as. Remember to leave some space at the bottom however, it is wise to not have such a shallow bottom in the beginning or else you will have little clay left to pinch when forming your foot. A shallow bottom will result in easy breakage when pushing out the walls of the pinch pot.
Once we have our foundation set up begin pressing on the edges of the walls with your thumb and pointer finger, kind of like in a pinching motion. Pinch and turn the pot over and over again until you are satisfied with the result. Remember it’s not about being perfect, the art of the pinch pot is all about displaying natural imperfections and different styling techniques. After you have gone all around the pot in a circle, proceed to choke up your hand a little bit up the pots hole a bit more, and repeat the pinch and turn motion.
Pinch and Turn, Pinch and Turn, Pinch and Turn, Pinch and Turn, Pinch and Turn.
If you have reached the top, you should have something that looks like the image shown above,however you will see that you still have that lump of clay at the bottom that we left untouched since the beginning. In the event that you do not have this lump at the bottom, congratulations you have created a pinch bowl. Turn your pinch pot upside down carefully, beware of any flapping sides and edges, and then do everything over again on the bottom side of the pinch pot. This step is called creating the foot of the pot. It is basically the same technique as making the pinch pot body but upside down.
Do make sure your pinches are consistent though, we would not want one side thicker than the other. It would be risky as inconsistencies in thickness is often attributed to poor technique and can potentially crack and explode in the kiln. Take your time with this process, it is not a race. Pottery should be enjoyed in leisure.
Variation and Harmony.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Experienced artists and potters often use spare clay around their studio to quickly form pinch pots to not only practice their form and consistency, but to have small easy little pots they can sell on the side. With the examples I have shown above, you can see how different glazes work with the forms to really bring out the textures of my pinches. Not one pinch pot is the same.
Looking at the different pinch pots of various people can tell a lot about their techniques. There are people who prefer to have smooth surfaces on their pinch pots while others, like me, enjoy the random and natural feel of the pinch like textures. The pinch pot is a physical manifestation of your technique and experience, so treat it well.