Bell Beaker Pottery

“Pottery has the power to transform earth into art.”

During the Bronze Age, the amount of immigration grew in Britain. Some of the new arrivals were known as the ‘Bell Beaker people’, they were named after the bell-shaped pottery they made. The pottery was often decorated with bands that had impressions in them made by a comb or cord pressed into the clay.

In our initial art lessons, the children researched and labelled images of Bronze Age style pots so that they had an understanding of what they used to look like. This allowed them to design their very own clay pot inspired by those that would have been made and decorated by the Beaker people. The children labelled their designs, adding key vocabulary to explain the how they would create their original pots.

To have a practice with the clay, each child made a pinch pot which would later be used for their slip (a liquid clay, used as a glue so that parts of clay can be attached to one another)

In the penultimate week of last half term, the children were tasked at creating their designs. It caused a lot of excitement across the year group! The children had to roll the clay into sausages before they coiled them round to create the base as well as the main shape of the pots. Once they had attached the coils using the slip they had to smooth the insides of the pots to ensure that they were water tight and to limit the chance of them breaking. Some children, decided to smooth the outer parts as well but soon found that this caused a challenge as it meant the pot was getting thinner. Once they were happy with the form, the children used pieces of string and clay tools to imprint patterns onto them.

Both classes showed excellent critical thinking, independence and resilience when using the clay. We are looking forward to seeing the dried pots after the half term.