Lesson Objectives:  Students will create an animal out of clay by forming two pinch pots and joining them together. Form is recognized when all three dimensions are present (length, width, and height).

Time Required:      2 Sessions

Artist: Pablo Picasso, Baboon and Young 

Materials (Session 1):


Brown paper bag or cardboard placemats

Clay tools

Shallow dishes of water 

Materials (Session 2):



Dixie cups


Discuss pinch pot and scoring techniques. Discuss form.

Procedure (Day 1):

  1. Students begin with a piece of clay big enough to make two 2” wide ball.  They are instructed to roll and smooth the balls.
  2. Make 2 pinch pots as close to the same size as possible. Score the rims of both pots and join them together: make vertical //// and horizontal hatch marks on both surfaces to be joined. Use water to run into the hatch marks to create slip (glue) and wriggle the 2 pinch pots together to form a hollow ball. Smooth the edges of the joint.
  3. From this point, almost any animal can be made.
  4. Example: Pig Form a small ball, flatten it, and it will be the pig’s face. Add eyes. Using a smaller ball, flatten it and that can be added as the snout. Poke 2 holes in it for the nostrils. Using another small ball of clay, flatten it into a circle, cut it in half, and these are the ears. 4 rectangular slabs can become the legs. The tail can be formed by making a coil and carefully twisting it. Poke a hole in the ball of the pig for the tail to slip into for support. Make sure everything is joined by scoring!
  5. Poke a hole somewhere in the ball to allow steam to escape during firing.
  6. Support with newspaper if necessary.
  7. Let dry 14 days, remove newspaper, and bisque fire in the kiln.

Procedure (Day 2):

      1. Paint pieces with glaze.

      2. Use 2-3 coats for vibrant colors.

      3. Glaze cannot touch kiln shelves, so use stilts if necessary.

      4. Let dry overnight and glaze fire in the kiln.