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Pinch Pots


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#1 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:20 AM

I am taking the porcelain e course and this week is all about pinch pots and refining them etc.  I have never made a pinch pot until this week.  I would love to see a thread with tips, tools, and discussion about making a proper pinch pot.  Pinching seems easy, refining it and making it even and smooth is not so much!  (to me anyways) 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#2 TwinRocks

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:02 PM

I don't have anything specific to point you to, but I've found making pinch pots helps acquaint you with the consistency of new clay bodies. How the clay reacts to your touch is important to understand, regardless of what you want to make. Don't over think it, just use it as an opertunity to explore and learn.

#3 Denice

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 12:27 PM

Just relax and enjoy it when I'm feeling stressed I usually go out to my studio make a pinch pot and start coiling on it,  Takes my stress away.  Denice



#4 MudBug

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 01:13 PM

1. For starters, pinch pots of medium size (about the size of the biggest ball you can make with both your hands, fingers stretched.)

 

2. When you turn the pot in your hands, pay conscious attention to the rotation of the object: the rotational speed, rhythm, pressure that your fingers apply, and consistency of clay.

 

3. While the object is rotating, pay attention to the outer profile of the object - keep a conscious eye on that outer profile. Some people, intermittently, stop working, hold the object in front and study. That’s good. But, it is essential to recognize that the on-going changes in the outer profile as a continuous process, and not an at-stages process. The more consciously you do this, your eyes and mind will learn to look for the finer nuances in the segments of arcs and forms in your works as they evolve.

 

4. Pay sincere attention to the symmetry of the object (assuming you are making an axially symmetrical object) as the symmetry develops. Keep paying attention to this symmetry developing as it develops, until you recognize that the resulting symmetry in the object and the symmetry/steadiness of your hand/finger movements (in terms of speed, rhythm and pressure) are intimately and inseparably the same.

 

5. Have fun.


Not new to art and design. A complete newbie to Ceramics. Now, in a period of adaptating to the new medium.


#5 Pres

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:02 PM

You might find that the way you pinch is important also. I use the ball of the thumb to start an opening, then work with the end of the thumb the deeper I get sort of like opening up when throwing. The next type of pinch is the thumb opposite of pointer more like a caress, don't pinch hard, just often. Keep turning the form in your hand, working all of it at once, not just one area. Then you can start a sliding pinch, where the thumb slides as it pinches moving the clay in the direction you move the thumb. . usually upward. Keep the rim thicker, for this use a three finger pinch, thumb on inside, pointer on top of rim, and second finger on the outside with others. Hold the clay between thumb and second while you pinch/press the clay downward with the pointer working around the pot slowly thickening the rim. Continue to work until the desired thickness and shape. Often you will see folks using water, but use it very sparingly. If you work around the piece slowly stretching evenly not much water is needed. If the clay seems to be getting too dry, spray lightly, wrap in plastic tightly and let sit for an hour.

 

Good exercise to try once you get the basics is to try to get a piece as so thin it almost is pinched through. As far as your aching fingers, by the last day of the class, you should be just about to the point it doesn't hurt as much. :(


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#6 neilestrick

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:06 PM

When i do pinch pots with kids, they inevitably pinch with their index finger bent. This is a very aggressive way to pinch, and causes the clay to get too thin and lumpy. So I tell them to use 'crab hands'. Pretend you're making a crab claw motion with your hand- thumb and fingers straight out. This makes a nice soft pinch that gives more control and a smoother surface.


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#7 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:10 PM

these are great - I am finding i don't have a rubber or metal rib small enough to smooth out the inside easily. I guess I will be ordering more tools :) 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#8 neilestrick

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 02:36 PM

A good way to clean up the surface is to scrape it with a hacksaw blade when it's almost leather hard, then smooth it over with a rubber or metal rib.


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#9 alabama

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:04 PM

these are great - I am finding i don't have a rubber or metal rib small enough to smooth out the inside easily. I guess I will be ordering more tools :)

Hey,

     I think if you used a small wooden bowl to make the pinch pots in, the vessels would be more symetrical and

allow you to rotate the pots while you're shaping and adding coils.  I'm thinking of the small wooden

salad bowls that cost about a quarter to .50 cents at thrift shops.  If possible remove the varnish

from inside the bowl, at least score it with rough sand paper, which allows the moisture in the clay

to wick from the exterior.  If by chance these 4 1/2 inch bowls are too wide for your motives, then

make a paddy of clay and spread it out in the bottom up to the rim.  Trim the top level.  It will shrink some

and when you bisque it, then you can make other bowls inside it, as long as it is not glazed.

    If you have access to a bench grinder, you can cut a peanut butter lid into and shape it on

either stone wheel then smooth the edges with medium sandpaper, which should be all right

for a pinch or coiled pot.  Don't over look other hard plastic lids which might meet your needs

as well.  If there is a equine tack shop near your house, you might find a large metal ring or

a large metal washer to serve as a rib, but expect the clay to stick to it.

    Has anyone made, shaped, smoothed, and high fired an unglazed ceramic rib?  I haven't

but I probably will just as a curiosity.  It just might work, and will keep you from ordering

tools that you can custom make yourself.

Good luck,

Alabama



#10 TJR

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:43 PM

I did something a little different with my Gr 10 clay class this year. We started pinch pots, and i pealized that they have rpound bottom, and a table top would not be required.

1. give each student a lump of clay the size of a small orange. you do this to regulate the size.

2. Once everyone has clay, make a round ball with your hands slapping the clay.

3. demo how to pinch the clay by opening with your thumb.

4. This id the important bit! Have everyone move in circles asround the room. No one should be sitting.

5. It is crucial to keep the rim think, so don't pinch on the rim. This maintains the integrity of the pot.

Other tips;

I am a great believer in not working the clay too much, so long as the clay is thin enough. THE MORE YOU WORK THE CLAY, THE DRIER IT WILL GET.

We made two pinch pots, scored and slipped the rims and joined them together. We them made clay heads.

TJR.



#11 Pres

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:44 PM

Rubber ribs are fine for smoothing the inside, but most of my work with pinch pots only used the fingers. As to symmetry, the wheel is for symmetry, pinch pots, well they can be symmetric or asymmetric, it really does not matter. If you work the pot around the edges evenly starting with a round ball, it will be symmetric. If you start with something oblong and pinch it oblong or pinch in ribs or other decoration it will go that way also.


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#12 neilestrick

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

Once you get the basic pinch pot figured out, then move on to the pinch pot mug, complete with handle pinched out of the same ball of clay, all one piece. Lots of fun!


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#13 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:49 PM

It's not perfect, but here is my first one ever. Antionette had us using a rubber rib to smooth, a metal rib to scrape, and that little cheese grater tool thing to get the line between the outside and inside of the pot to flow together.  It's Mid fire porcelain.  I ended up evening out the edges after I took this picture.  

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Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#14 Celia UK

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 09:10 AM

I think it's beautiful and the slightly uneven rim adds to it, rather than detracts. Pinch pots as fine as this are great for organic forms.

#15 oldlady

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

there is an exhibition of pottery in the Hagerstown, md art museum running til October(?).  there are a number of tiny but tall (5 to 7 inches) vase shapes that have been pinched by Joan Michaud.  the necks are at least 3 inches tall and as big around as a pencil. 

 

many other things in the exhibit, but these are PINCH POTS????????


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#16 Pres

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 02:21 PM

First run, great job. Keep going. I am like so many others liking the un-eveness.


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#17 Pieter Mostert

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

Instead of buying rubber or metal ribs, I cut ribs out of old plastic cards (as in phone-cards or loyalty cards). If the plastic is hard, it may be difficult to cut a smooth curve, but you can always sand the edges afterwards.



#18 Biglou13

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:02 PM

As far as pinch goes that's an even rim. Almost too even. I'm sure the exercise included evenness. I am a fan of wavy rims and pinch pots. Functional imbalance. See avatar.
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#19 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:21 AM

Great that you are doing Antoinette's e-course! You will learn to make your own tools out of almost everything (beer cans among others). For the pinch pots, cut a beer can in shapes you need for the pinched pot. Bigger ones, smaller ones, every shape you need.

I like the pinch pot that you made in the course! And also, like other members, I like the uneven rim. It's very personal.

Have fun!

Evelyne


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#20 florence w

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:51 AM

If you want to make your own tools from CLAY, Janis Wilson Hughes has two DVD's that tell you how and show you how to use the ribs.  Available on Amazon look for Custom Clay Pottery Tools, part 1 - Making Potter Tools from Clay and Custom Clay Pottery Tools part 2 - Using Custom Tools on the Wheel.  I found the process both enjoyable and informative and use my homemade tools often.  Also, shown in the DVD's are two items I can not live without - the blue work surface (The Mighty Mat) and the diamond hand polisher pad - 400 grit.  Janis Wilson Hughes has many videos on YouTube.  Look for Evolution Stoneware Pottery.






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