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Monday, March 5, 2012

Asian pinch pot Teacups

3rd graders learned about ancient tea drinking traditions and rituals. We also looked closely at the shape and how they are elaborately decorated with symbols of their culture. First of all the teacup were fairly small and they didn't have a handle! They have a small 'foot' or base on the bottom. First I had to break the news that yes Model Magic is not waterproof and we couldn't actually drink from these cups. But we got over that in a hurry and were excited to decorate and design our cups!

Each cup was made with one small classroom package of white model magic. I tell students to pull off a quarter coin size piece/ball of clay. Put that to the side for the base. I show students the class pinch pot technique with their thumb. Then I show the technique of making a thick coil or a 'snake' with the quarter sized piece for the base/foot. Form into an "O" by connecting the ends of the coil. Just gently set the cup on the coil. Then write your name and class code on a small slip of paper and set cup on top, then on shelf. Just to give you an idea how big they are, they're about 2 inches across.

 Next time the clay will be dried out and hardened (it's never rock hard because model magic is soft white air-dry like dough) and let students it's not like fired clay, o be careful. Now transfer your name and class with permanent black marker on the bottom base. Now it's time to design your cup! Use permanent sharpies, Chinese characters, and symbols to decorate the outside edge.

Student work...check em out! WOws.


  1. I love of of your Asian art ideas! I will have to add them to my stash for next year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for this idea! You can see mine here: