Beaker Making

This series of photos shows how I construct a replica Bronze Age Beaker, using a simple pinching technique.
I use a heavily grogged earthenware clay, either dug locally or bought in a plastic bag (or a mixture), which is cut in two pieces and made into “thumb pots”. making hole in clay
One is the base and the other, with no bottom, is the top.

I pinch out the shapes and leave them to stiffen.
The top has a groove pushed around the lower edge, with flaps that fit over the base piece on the inside and outside,
this helps me to locate the pieces together and forms a strong “tongued and grooved” joint.
A little bit of water is put round the groove, to act as a glue between the sections.
The flaps on the inside and outside are folded down and squeezed together, trapping the thin tongue up between them, this forms a nice strong join.
After I join the sections, I thin the pot further and refine the shape by more squeezing and scraping.
I leave it to dry and stiffen a bit more, then wipe the surface with clay slip using my father's shaving brush to make a smoother surface.
 I then impress the decoration motifs around the beaker, usually using a wooden comb to make multiple rows of dots in a variety of herring-bone patterns.
Sometimes I use a cord or rope to make circular spirals or vertical lines, like the "maggot" decoration.
Sometimes I add ribs or flanges to the surface. Maybe impress a tool, suc h as stick or a piece of bone to make indents. This "neolithic grooved ware" bucket was decorated by cutting grooves with a thin ended stick.