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How to Build a Clay Owl Pinch Pot

clay owl pinch pot with clay eyes, wings and beak on clay placemat.

Fun clay owl art project for kids

This building project is the perfect introduction to how to attach clay by scoring. If children have knowledge or experience with making pinch pots then they should be able to do this project.

In the past, we have seen great success with doing this clay owl project with 2nd graders after they made a pinch pot flower in the previous year.

Skills, Vocabulary or Concepts you can really teach young artists within this project

  • Pinch pot
  • Scoring
  • Kiln
  • Ceramic or pottery
  • Glaze
  • Texture
  • Form
  • Line

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Teach the art element of texture with ceramic projects

Clay is an amazing medium to teach children about texture and for them to fully understand it. You can show them how to draw in textures, stamped textures with a variety of materials or build up reliefs on their owl. Allowing kids the freedom and tools to explore is the best way to explore texture in clay or even our homemade no cream of tartar playdough.

Therefore, modify this ceramic art project for kids to work with what you have. If you only have model magic or air dry clay, you can still make a textured owl pinch pot! When adding texture you could even pull up stock photos of real owls to help inspire all the little details.

Supplies

Skewers

White clay

Glaze or paint

Placemat or surface to work on

Small container of water

Read more>>> 9 tips on how to use clay glazes with kids

How to build a clay pinch pot owl

Step 1: Cut clay so that it fits into your hand or the hands of the children completing the project.

amount of clay used to build clay owl in hand with above work surface and skewer.

Step 2: Split the clay into a large hunk and a smaller one.

amount of clay used to build a clay owl with kids and small water container.

Step 3: Roll the larger chunk into a ball of clay and squeeze the clay a little to make it more egg-shaped.

hand squeezing clay to create an egg shape.

Step 4: Push your thumb as far as it will go without pushing through. With young children, you may have to check or help them push farther down.

beginning of pinch pot in clay after thumb was pressed in ball of clay as far as it could go.

Step 5: Create a pinch pot cup as the base of your owl. Make sure that the walls of the pinch pot are not too thin.

clay pinch pot with clay skewer, extra clay and small water container on clay placemat.

Step 6: Create owl eyes by rolling small balls of clay and smooshing and using the end of the pointer to add eye details and possibly designs.

hand smashing small balls of clay create clay owl eyes.

Step 7: Use a skewer to create details like eyeholes and extra textures.

hand holding clay tool to create eye holes in clay owl eye.

Step 8: Score the back of the eyeball and where you are attaching the clay eye. Use a little water on your finger to put water on both spots you have scored.

hand putting water on clay eyes where score lines are and clay pinch pot.

Step 9: Create a beak for your ceramic owl, score and attach it to the pinch pot body.

clay owl beak held in hands with score lines and clay owl pinch pot in the background.

Step 10: Make a small slab and use a skewer to cut out wings. Add feather details by stamping or drawing. Use the pointed end of the skewer to score (draw little lines) on both the pieces needed to be attached and where they are going on the pinch pot.

clay feather flipped over in front of clay owl with large eyes and beak.

Step 11: Add extra textures or draw breast feathers onto the finished adorable clay owl.

clay owl pinch pot art project for kids.

Step 12: Adults should use a needle tool to write child’s name on the bottom of the clay owl.

Step 13: Let owls fully dry. We like to let them dry for a whole week.

Step 14: Run a bisque fire in the kiln according to the directions of the clay you ordered.

Looking for another clay pinch pot project for kids? Check out our easy clay fish art project.

Paint or glaze clay owls

Give students a few choices of colored glazes or paints. Read our tips for using clay glazes with a group of children.

Step 15: Kids should pick one color for the body, one for the beak and wings and one for the eyes. 

Step 16: Make sure children use 3 layers of glaze and fully cover the project.

kids clay owl art project with glaze with Cappuccino mint glaze color on owl.

Step 17: Load and run your kiln based on the instructions on your glaze bottles. We run our kiln to Cone 06 when using the Mayco Stroke and Coat or glaze of your choice.

Don’t want to glaze your clay owls? Check out this non-glazing clay technique for kids.

clay pinch pot owl art project  for kids glazed on marble table.

Printable instructions here for this wonderful owl project!

Yield: Ceramic Owl Sculpture

How To Build A Clay Owl

clay owl pinch pot art project for kids.

Kids will love this clay building project. Create simple pinch pot owls in around an hour. You can modify this art project for kids to fit whatever clay building and paint materials you have.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 2 days
Total Time 2 days 1 hour 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost Less than $5

Tools

  • Wooden skewer
  • Small Water Container
  • Needle Tool (for adult)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Kiln

Instructions

  1. Cut clay so that it fits into your hand or the hands of the children completing the project.
  2. Split the clay into a large hunk and a smaller one.
  3. Roll the larger chunk into a ball of clay and squeeze the clay a little to make it more egg-shaped.
  4. Push your thumb as far as it will go without pushing through. With young children, you may have to check or help them push farther down.
  5. Create a pinch pot cup as the base of your owl. Make sure that the walls of the pinch pot are not too thin.
  6. Create owl eyes by rolling small balls of clay and smooshing and using the end of the pointer to add eye details and possibly designs.
  7. Use a skewer to create details like eye holes and extra textures.
  8. Score the back of the eyeball and where you are attaching the clay eye. Use a little water on your finger to put water on both spots you have scored.
  9. Create a beak for your ceramic owl, score and attach it to the pinch pot body.
  10. Make a small slab and use a skewer to cut out wings. Add feather details by stamping or drawing. Use the pointed end of the skewer to score (draw little lines) on both the pieces needed to be attached and where they are going on the pinch pot.
  11. Add extra textures or draw feather details onto the finished adorable clay owl.
  12. Let owls fully dry. We like to let them dry for a whole week.
  13. Run a bisque fire in the kiln according to the directions of the clay you ordered.
  14. Use paint or glaze to complete clay projects and run a glaze fire.

Notes

When painting or glazing, kids can pick one color for the body, one for the beak and wings, and one for the eyes. 

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If you love simple clay pinch projects for kids, then check out this pinch pot turtle project kids can build quickly!

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Open the kiln and see the amazing finished clay owl projects your kids have created!

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