Working with Clay- pinch pots

Working with Clay- pinch pots

A KS3 sculpture workshop led by Fitzwilliam education staff member Alison Ayres. She 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.

Follow the links on this page to see a film about the owl or just get started with some clay.

Key Stage:

KS2&3 Art and Design


The six films show how the group we worked with created decorated pinch pots on animal theme. This lesson plan can be used to:
To start a sculpture project.
To develop ideas and understanding of processes and materials. As part of study of any artist using ceramics.
As part of individual study.


The artist tells the group about types of clay and introduces the workshop

Pinch pot

The simple technique of pinch pots is demonstrated.

Pots together

The base and the top come together to make the basic form for decoration.

Adding clay

Adding clay to your pot using a scoring technique and clay slip.

End product

Students discuss their experience and share their work.

Development Activity:

Elsewhere on CultureStreet you can find out more about the large ceramic owl in the collection of the Fitzwilliam and more lesson pans and artist working with clay

Large Ceramic Owl

Vanessa Pooley

Judith Rowe

Making a clay animal for firing

Carving Clay

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

Research, Notes and Links:

Download this lesson plan