Pinch Pot Pumpkins… and a Ghost

Pinch pot pumpkins (and ghosts!) are really fun and easy to make. We took the classic pinch pot process a step further, shaping our pots into spheres then “carving” them like pumpkins.

Pinch Pot Pumpkins and Ghost

You can use Clay Sculpting Tools but a toothpick or pencil also works well for the little ones to draw the face onto the clay. Then a grown up can one of the sharper tools (or even an exacto knife but obviously keep it out of kid’s reach) to cut the kid’s design into the clay.

The same idea can be used to make a little ghost too, only pinch your “pot” into a shape that flares out instead of curving back into a sphere.

Making pinch pots with kids provided yet another great example of how kids are natural artists. My mom-made pumpkins look boring compared to 7-year-old William’s toothy pumpkin. Love that silly grin and lopsided eyes.

Clay Pumpkin

A quick pinch pot tutorial:  First help them form a ball of clay (keep it small for their little hands) then demonstrate how to press into the center with your thumb while rotating the ball and pinching as you go. Be careful not to let any part of it become too thin.

Once the designs are cut out of the clay, be sure to smooth out any clay “crumbs” as these can become sharp once the clay is fired.

Making Clay Pinch Pots with kids
Remember, it’s about the process… not the finished product. And look how much fun my 4 year old has during this wild finger-waving process with a pinch pot covering her pointer finger. She couldn’t stop giggling or wiggling.

Thanks to my artist Mom who has a kiln, we used real clay but the same process would work great with Air Dry Clay and a set of Clay Scuplting Tools is also helpful (but be aware some of the tools are sharp and not recommended for small children). Plastic Clay Tools are a better option for younger kids.

Once we get going on these, my kids like to make one after the other… it is a wonderfully satisfying project. And you will see that after you get the hang of making these little guys, the options for other shapes are endless. Why not try making a pinch pot cat and mouse? Or pinch pot puppies?