Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Barn Owls make Stone Age Jomon pots: Monday October 8th

Today we were very lucky to have Liz Mellen with us; she is a teacher, artist and potter. She showed us how to make thumb pots which have a coil of clay around the top - this type of pot was made around 14,000 years ago and is known as a Jomon pot. 

Jomen pots are one of the world's earliest pots made during the ancient Japanese Jomon period, around 14,500 - 300 BCE. They are very distinctive due to their impressed decoration which resembles rope and is the origin of the word jomon, meaning 'cord pattern.'

Mrs Mellen brought some special clay with her and will be firing the finished pots in her kiln.

First she explained that it was important not to touch the clay too much or it would dry out. We started with a piece that looked a bit like a big chunk of chocolate:

The first task was to roll the clay into a ball shape...

Then, using thumbs, we made a depression in the middle and opened this out to make the bowl of the pot. It was important not to make the edges too thin.

Then Mrs Mellen explained how to make the coil to fit around the top of the pot. She gave us a smaller slice of clay and we stretched and then rolled this into a sausage shape.

We then attached this circle of clay to the top of our pots using a smoothing stroke of our thumbs which helped to join the two pieces of clay together and make them into one.

Once the lip of the pot was complete we decorated the pots using rope impressions and marks with a clay tool.

Here are some of the finished articles...

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