Posts Tagged ‘pottery’

The Mysterious Cracking Pots

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

cracking-potsSo much for my cool idea of making easy terra cotta Greek pots. I’m talking about the ones I referred to in my Ancient Greece Unit Study YouTube video, the ones where you get clay and smoosh it onto the side of a bottle. Then roll a snake to make each handle. The kids loved making the pots. But the pots became aged in a matter of a couple of hours! I do not remember this happening five years ago when I did it last time.

The next day I tried it with a thinner layer of clay. Nope. It still cracked after about two hours. So now this is my recommendation: After forming the shape of the vase, while it’s still wet, use black paint to decorate with Greek figures. Then hold it up and snap a picture. Tell the kids it will mysteriously age because you’ve pretended to go back in time to get it. They will be excited and happy two hours later when they see how old their pots look! Cool after all!cracking-pots-2easy-greek-potseasy-greek-pottery-craft


Tips for Success with a Toy Pottery Wheel

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011


Here are some tips and a video for how to be successful when your children use a lousy toy pottery wheel (because all toy pottery wheels are lousy):

  • Start with a ball of clay the size of the pot you want. Place it on the toy pottery wheel. We used self-hardening clay because we had no money to get our pots fired professionally. (This is also why we were using a toy pottery wheel instead of a real one that was way out of our price range.)
  • Press the pedal to make the wheel go around. Don’t start crying because of the lack of power. I already told you it was lousy, so just make do.
  • Hold it firmly with wet hands so that you can shape it into a smooth blob. Feel it swooshing through your hands.
  • Stop the machine. Take your foot off the pedal. Push your fist into the blob, making a bowl.
  • Now press the pedal and make the spinner go around in circles again. Smooth it out with wet hands.
  • Keep your hands wet at all times.
  • It has to stay symmetrical, or it will start to fall apart. Keep it symmetrical and balanced all the way around. Smooth out the bumps.
  • When you’re finished with the pot, set it on wax paper to dry.
  • Wait at least overnight for the self-hardening clay to dry. Then use a black Sharpie marker to draw a pattern on it. Use black paint to fill it in. Let it dry.
  • Enjoy your finished pot. Give it to Grandma, who is the only one who will truly appreciate it.