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Home > The Courses > Course Home Pages > 3-D Design Lesson Plan: Elongated Pinch Pot Vessel

3-D Design Lesson Plan: Elongated Pinch Pot Vessel

by Vivian Moreira Komando
Phillips Exeter Academy
Exeter, New Hampshire

Content
This lesson introduces an alternate approach to the basic pinch pot building technique in ceramics that moves beyond the traditional pinch pot bowl to explore a more complex form. The technique is explored through the design of a vessel that incorporates simplicity, movement, and elegance in form. These bottles are inspired by the work of potters Joyce Michaud and Kristen Doner.

Objective
The student will learn how to form a clay vase by lightly pinching and shaping a ball of clay using the fingers and thumb. The student will combine two sections of pinched clay constructions (using low-fire clay) to create a bottle with an elongated neck that demonstrates balance, harmony, unity, and movement.

Motivation
The teacher will:
  1. Use class text or handouts with students to review how to make a pinch pot
  2. Have examples of pinch pots
  3. Look online at the pinch pots created by potter Joyce Michaud and Kristen Doner with the class and analyze the movement and form in the pinch pots
      Joyce Michaud Gallery
      Pinch Pots by Kristen Doner
  4. Discuss aesthetics in form
  5. Demonstrate how to form a pinch pot and how to form/attach a neck
  6. Assist students as needed
  7. Critique with students as work progresses
Activities
The student will:
  1. Review clay properties in class text
  2. Partake in class discussions
  3. Make three sketches in his/her art journal (each one a full-page sketch) of clay pinch pot bottle forms that show movement and are elongated in design
  4. With teacher, critique pinch pot bottle designs
  5. Select one design for the bottle project
  6. Form bottle by pinching clay, joining clay sections, and cleaning up any discernible joint edges
  7. Glaze the bisque-fired bottle
  8. Write a critique of completed piece in art journal
  9. Demonstrate mastery of technique
  10. Show evidence of craftsmanship
Materials
  1. White low-fire clay
  2. Water
  3. Sponges
  4. Wood clay tools (if needed for final cleaning of piece)
  5. Low-fire glazes
Resources
  1. Class text: Ceramics Class: Handbuilding Techniques by Joaquim Chavarria
  2. Samples/examples of pinch pots
  3. Examples of pinch pots by potter Joyce Michaud (see "Motivation" above for Web site address)
  4. Examples of pinch pots in stoneware and porcelain
      Pinch Pots in Stoneware and Porcelain
  5. Examples of pinch pots by Kristen Doner (see "Motivation" above for Web site address)
  6. Crystal Productions' ceramics poster: Pinch Pots
Vocabulary
  1. Pinch pot -- A clay pot formed by pinching a ball of clay with the thumb and fingers
  2. Elongated -- Made longer or extended; having more length than width
  3. Aesthetics -- A pleasing appearance or effect
  4. Harmony -- A way of combining elements of art to accent their similarities and combine the parts into a whole
  5. Unity -- The quality of wholeness or oneness that is achieved through the effective use of the elements and principles of design
  6. Balance -- Proportion of parts or areas in a design arranged to create a feeling of stability in a work
  7. Mouth -- Opening of a bottle or vessel
  8. Neck -- A cylinder form
  9. Vessel -- Container
References for terms:
  ArtLex Art Dictionary
  Dictionary.com

Evaluation
The student will be graded according to the following criteria.

The student will:
  1. Review clay properties in class text
  2. Partake in class discussions
  3. Analyze forms of potters' works (in class discussion and/or comments in art journal)
  4. Make three sketches in his/her art journal (each one a full-page sketch) of clay pinch pot vessel forms that show movement and have an elongated neck incorporated into the design
  5. With teacher, critique pinch pot vessel designs
  6. After the critique, select one design for the project
  7. Form the vessel by pinching clay, joining clay sections, and cleaning up joint edges
  8. Construct a piece that possesses aesthetic sensibility
  9. Construct a piece that incorporates harmony, unity, and balance
  10. Construct a vessel that has walls that are of even thickness and no more than 1/4" thick
  11. Join areas of the neck and vessel so that seams are not visible, demonstrating good craftsmanship
  12. Glaze the piece properly
  13. Demonstrate mastery of technique and craftsmanship
  14. Partake in a class critique



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