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Pinch pots are one of the oldest means of making pottery. Over there is proof that pinch pot history starts plenty of thousands of years ago. The simplicity the the an approach has made it through over the millennia. As soon as I found that pinch pots were being made together far back as the Neolithic era, ns was oddly reassured. That connects united state to the past.

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I choose this emotion of link to earlier eras when life was very different. So, I believed I would carry out some an ext research. And this is what I discovered out about the pinch pot history.


Table that Contents present
1 The beginnings of pottery
2 A Pinch Pot history
2.1 A history of little Pinch Pots
2.2 A history of bigger Pinch Pots
2.2.1 regional Differences
2.2.2 brothers Pinch Pots
2.2.3 Japanese Pinch Pots
2.2.4 Egyptian Pinch Pots
2.2.5 native American Pinch Pots
2.2.6 last Thoughts

The origins of Pottery

Evidence says that pottery first began about 20,000 years earlier in China. There is a cave in east China referred to as the Xianredong Cave. Shards of pottery dating earlier this long have actually been found in the cave. The cave was well-known to have been lived in by world at that time.

There is likewise evidence of pottery dating earlier 10-16,000 year in Russia. This pottery was uncovered on the Russian side of the Amur River, i m sorry is top top the border of China and Russia. (source)

Pottery in the Western human being was a little slower come appear. Evidence of functional ceramic in the West dates ago to approximately 9000 year ago.

There is some disagreement between scholars around when and where the porter wheel to be invented. Some suggest it was in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, about 3129BC. Others argue the the wheel was an initial used in south Asia about 3500C.

Either way, functional ceramic was being made long before the potter’s wheel was introduced. Prior to using the porter wheel, pottery was made utilizing a variety of hand-building techniques. This techniques had the making of pinch pots.

A Pinch Pot History

The pinch pot an approach involves shaping a item of clay right into a ball. Then press your thumb into the sphere of clay and pinching the clay through your finger and thumb. This pinching action opens up the clay into a vessel shape.

Some old pots were made entirely using the pinching technique. Others to be made making use of a mix of various other hand building methods. The various other hand building methods offered were:

Slab BuildingMoldingCoilingWheel CoilingPercussion (anvil and also paddle)

A history of tiny Pinch Pots

Small pots can conveniently be made using the pinching technique. A an excellent example the this is the Japanese Tea Bowl, which has actually a long history stretching back to the 13th century.

The Japanese Tea Bowl can be made making use of a number of techniques. They are occasionally thrown top top the wheel, offering them an also shape and design. Another an approach is come carve them out of clay, scooping the end the facility of the clay bowl with a tool.

However, many ancient Japanese Tea Bowls to be made utilizing the pinching technique. Right here is an instance of two raku Tea Bowls dating back to the 17th Century.

Japan, Kyoto. Probably made by Raku, Sonyu (1691-1716)
Japan, Kyoto. Do by Hon’ami, Koetsu (1612-1637)

A background of larger Pinch Pots

Larger pots can be made by joining two smaller sized pinch pots together. However, frequently larger pots were made utilizing a mix of pinching and also another technique.

There is a long legacy of combining pinching v coiling. And there is proof of this an approach all end the world, and also dating earlier many thousands of years.

It’s regularly assumed that old pottery to be made specifically using the coiling technique. And also there is a lot of to indicate that coiling was most likely the dominant method.

However, archeologists have found evidence of pinching being an unified with coiling together far back as the bronze Age. Because that example, pinching and also coiling were provided in the early on Bronze age in Moravia Czechia. And also a mix of slab, coiling, and pinching was offered in Hungary in the center bronze age. (source)

Regional Differences

There are some similarities and also differences between the means pinch pots room made in various regions. Right here are a few comparisons….

British Pinch Pots

One instance of the technique of combining pinching through coiling to do a larger vessel is Grooved Ware pottery. Grooved ware pottery was do in Neolithic brother by flattening a sphere of life clay ~ above a mat.

The edges of the basic were then pinched up to create the start of the courage wall. Coils the clay to be then included to the wall to build-up height. The coils were compressed ~ above the vessel and also then pinched upwards to prolong the pot.

This ceramic was referred to as Grooved Ware since it was frequently scored through grooves as decoration.


Grooved Ware typically had a level base and was straight-walled. (source). However, the mix of pinching and coiling has been extensively used roughly the world. And also each region developed its very own characteristic style and also technique.

Japanese Pinch Pots

For example, Blandino, B (1984) defines what she referred to as the extended pinch method. This was supplied in the Kyushu Province, Japan in the 16th and also 17th century. A lump of clay to be flattened between the palms of the hand. Then pressed versus the lip that the vessel gift built. The added lump that clay overlapped a little bit onto the pickled in salt so the it would bond well. Then it to be pinched upwards to add height.

Egyptian Pinch Pots

There is likewise evidence the pinch pottery being made as far earlier as 3000BC in Egypt. (Halls, S. 2014) The pots were frequently made the end of clay native the Nile, or desert Marl Clay.

This old Egyptian ceramic was made by scooping out the within of a lump of clay. The clay was then pinched to thin the courage walls. Few of these pinched pots from the Naqada duration (4000-3000BC) were very thin-walled and refined in appearance.

Native American Pinch Pots

Many aboriginal American people hand developed their pottery using a mix of coiling and pinching. Frequently the basic of the vessel was made through a slab of clay. The walls of the base room then pinched upwards to form the shallow basic of the pot. Added coils room then added on and pinched into shape.

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Final Thoughts

This short article was a repertoire of information that i’ve discovered around pinch pots over the years. A complete pinch pot history would be a huge publication. There is evidence of pinch pots almost everywhere for hundreds of years. Ns hope this article has given you some sense of the diversity that its influence. It’s nice to bear that in mind as soon as you are managing clay and carrying ~ above such an old tradition.