Pinch Pot Animals and Coil Mugs
With a brand new, state-of-the-art kiln, students at Booker T. Washington Middle School are learning the art—and science—of ceramics. Recent creations include a series of pinch pot animals and mugs. For the animals, students started with a mound of clay and then pinched and pulled to shape an animal. “This is an introductory exercise that allows students to problem-solve and figure out how to create something out of a ball of clay,” explains ceramics teacher Stephanie Cafaro. “It also introduces the chemistry of the kiln—and how the kiln turns clay into a hard state.”
Students next sculpted a series a coil mugs. “They wanted to make something functional, something they could use,” Cafaro says, “so mugs seemed like a great way to introduce coil building,” a basic pottery skill, and the kinds of glazes safe for drinking. Some students added texture to their coils, while others flattened them to create a smooth surface. Students also chose from three handle styles—a basic coil handle, cut decorative handle and coil handle pulled from a slab.
Pinch pot scorpion, Shykeira Queen (8th grade)
Blue coil mug with two handles, Lyra Hopewell (8th grade)
Black coil mug with blue inside, Erick Tyler (8th grade)