7 Ceramic Pinch Pots That Don’t Require A Kiln (2024)

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7 Ceramic Pinch Pots That Don’t Require A Kiln (1)

Ceramics and pottery have become increasingly popular over the years, with many people embracing the art of creating beautiful and functional pieces from clay. However, one of the main challenges of getting into ceramics is the cost and accessibility of a kiln, which is necessary to harden the clay and bring it to its finished state. Not everyone has access to a kiln or can afford to use one, which can be discouraging for those who are interested in trying their hand at pottery.

That’s where these seven ceramic pinch pots come in. This roundup is all about showcasing creative and accessible ways to create ceramics without requiring a kiln. Each of these pinch pots is made using clay that can be hardened in a variety of ways, such as air drying or baking in a standard oven. This means that anyone, regardless of their access to a kiln or their budget, can enjoy the beauty and functionality of handmade ceramics.

These pinch pots are not only practical but also beautiful and unique. From small trinket dishes to larger bowls, each piece showcases the natural texture and colors of the clay, creating a rustic and organic aesthetic. Plus, creating pinch pots is a great way to get started in ceramics, as it requires minimal equipment and can be done at home with just a few basic supplies.

You can use air drying clay7 Ceramic Pinch Pots That Don’t Require A Kiln (2) or a DIY porcelain clay to create your pinch pots.

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Pinch pots made from air drying clay

Air-drying clay is a versatile crafting material that can be used to create everything from jewelry to home decor. It’s a popular choice for DIY enthusiasts as it’s easy to work with and doesn’t require any special equipment or kiln firing. While you can buy air drying clay at most craft stores, it’s also possible to make your own at home with just a few simple ingredients. In this tutorial, I’ll be showing you how to make your own DIY air drying clay that’s perfect for all your crafting needs.

How to make air drying clay


1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
Mixing bowl

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and baking soda. Mix well until the two powders are fully incorporated.

In a pot, add the water and place it on the stove over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the cornstarch and baking soda mixture to the pot. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble mashed potatoes.

Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Allow it to cool for a few minutes until it’s safe to touch.

Knead the mixture with your hands until it becomes smooth and pliable. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more cornstarch. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water.

Your DIY air drying clay is now ready to use! You can use it to make a variety of different projects such as jewelry, ornaments, and even small sculptures. Once you’ve finished your project, allow it to dry completely for 24-48 hours before painting or decorating it.


If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use flour instead.
Store any unused clay in an airtight container to keep it from drying out.
To add color to your clay, you can mix in food coloring or paint it once it’s dry.
If you’re making a large project, you may want to work in smaller sections to make it more manageable.
If you want a smoother finish, you can sand the clay once it’s dry.

Next Polymer Clay Idea:

7 Ceramic Pinch Pots That Don’t Require A Kiln (2024)


Can you make pinch pots without a kiln? ›

Yes, you can FORM clay into pottery without a kiln. But to have pottery to keep and use, it must be fired at a very hot temperature.

Can you do ceramics without a kiln? ›

Firing pottery without a kiln is a creative and adventurous endeavor, but it requires careful planning and experimentation. Whether you choose Raku firing, home oven firing, or pit firing, each method offers unique results that can add character to your pottery pieces.

What is the best clay for pottery without a kiln? ›

Air dry clay is a type of clay that is perfect for those new to making pottery and is great for hand building and making pottery at home as it does not require a kiln.

Can you make pinch pots with air dry clay? ›

Pinch pots with air-dry clay are the perfect introduction to clay. Clay might seem like an intimidating art supply, and it can be, but air-dry clay is as simple and easy to use as it gets. Air-dry clay doesn't need to be fired, glazed, or anything else complicated that might make it seem tricky for young artists.

Do pinch pots need to be fired? ›

You'll know when your clay is dry as it will be chalky and hard. At this step, you can then either directly paint or decorate your air dried pot, or to create a very hard finish, you should consider firing your finished pinch pots in a kiln.

Can I use my oven instead of a kiln? ›

You Can Fire Pottery In Your Home Oven

Pottery dried in an oven at home isn't going to be as hard and durable as pottery that has been dried in a super hot kiln, so the chances are it is more likely to break and won't last as long.

What is an alternative to a kiln for pottery? ›

In essence, firing pottery doesn't always have to involve a Pottery Kiln. You can also make use of these innovative methods, such as pit firing or gas firing. And when you want that professional finish without owning a Top Loading Pottery Kiln, your local pottery workshops are there to provide the kiln you will need.

Can I use my grill as a kiln? ›

Yes indeed, your trusty old Weber grill—the little round one on three legs that you might have left sitting in your garage when you upgraded your outdoor kitchen—can have a second life as a mini-kiln. I used a 22½-inch round grill, achieving a variety of effects with several kinds of clay and surface finishes.

What happens if you don't fire ceramic clay? ›

If it remains unfired it will eventually crack and fall apart. Water based clay becomes brittle when dry. I don't have a kiln either but I looked around and found a ceramic studio that does firing for a small fee per piece, depending on the size.

How to glaze pottery at home without a kiln? ›

The simplest way to glaze pottery without a kiln is to apply acrylic paint as you would ceramic glaze. Acrylic paint comes in an incredible array of shades and hues, dries quickly and cleans up easily with water. You can use the same application process for glazing pottery with acrylic paint as for ceramic glaze.

Can you drink out of air dry clay? ›

While air dry clay is non-toxic, it's not suitable for use with food or drinks because it gets damaged by water which means it can't be washed.

How expensive is a kiln? ›

For most artists, purchasing a kiln is by far the most expensive part of kiln ownership. Kiln costs vary tremendously, ranging from around $700 for compact kilns to $20,000+ for large, higher powered, industrial grade kilns.

Can you let ceramic clay air dry? ›

Just make a “tent” of fabric or newsprint to keep out the unwelcome drafts and allow moisture to escape gradually. Some ware made from forgiving clay bodies can often dry in the open air, if there aren't any drafts to cause uneven drying or thin projections such as handles.

What clay is best for pinch pots? ›

To get started with your pinch pot project, you'll want to gather your materials. Most importantly, you'll need to select your type of clay. Grogged clay is one of the best options for first-timers as it's a little bit stronger and will therefore hold its shape without cracking.

Do you need to wedge clay for pinch pots? ›

Pinch pots are the ideal project for newcomers to do hand-building with clay; perfecting this technique is a fantastic way to start developing your clay-craft skills. Materials used can be either wedge clay or self-hardening clay.

What clay does not need a kiln? ›

Air-dry clays were developed for artists who desire the integrity of clay but do not have easy access to a kiln. Most air-dry clays are mineral based and have properties comparable to those of traditional clays. They harden within a few days and do not need to be fired to create a permanent form.

How long can glazed pottery sit before firing? ›

Once you have applied glaze to your pot it is immediately ready for the glaze firing, but leaving it on a shelf for a few weeks until you're ready to bring it in is fine too.


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