Free Craft Project

Pinched Clay Pottery

Take a handful of kneaded clay and roll it between both your palms until you've created a round ball.

pinched pot figure 1

Holding the clay in one hand, work your other thumb down into the center of the clay, about halfway into the ball (Figure 1).

Turning the piece as you go, begin "pinching" up the walls by squeezing the clay between your thumb and fingers (Figure 2). Try to keep the walls as even a thickness as you can.

pinched pot figure 2

At the same time, you need to start spreading the width of the pot. Just gently pull sideways at the bottom of the ball as you continue to pinch.


Keep pinching and spreading until the pot is as deep and wide as you like. Try not to get carried away with too large a size, though. When you're learning, it's much easier to handle smaller pieces. Once you get comfortable working with clay, you can move on to bigger items.

pinched pot figure 3

Now, gently press the piece onto the table (or "control" drop it a few times), just enough to create a nice flat bottom (Figure 3).

pinched pot figure 4

If you need to level the top edge, just turn the piece upside down and gently press it onto the table. Then smooth the lip with your fingers.

Set it aside to dry and then paint it however you life.


Make three half-inch round balls and secure them to the bottom of the pot (evenly spaced). To make sure they'll stay in place, simply use some slip to join each ball to the pot (the same as if you were using glue).

Make a clay worm and join the ends into a circle which is slightly smaller than the base of the pot. Attach with slip.

If you would like to use this as a flower pot, do one of the following....

Make 3 or 4 holes in the bottom by pushing a pencil or wooden dowel through the bottom of the piece before allowing it to dry.


Make several knife slits on the bottom of the piece and then spread them open slightly. Then, add one worm circle on the bottom to allow for proper drainage.