Bronze Age Beaker pottery
Over the last couple of months members of the Aberystruth YAC have been learning all about Bronze Age. We have been making Bronze Age tools using clay and have been learning about hunter gatherers by using different materials to make animal foot prints and cave paintings.
In February one of the members of the Aberystruth History and Archaeology society (which supports our YAC club), Helen Johns came along to show us how to make Beaker pottery. Helen as a degree in pottery and really knows her stuff when it comes to prehistoric pottery.
First Helen gave us a short talk about Beaker people and Beaker pottery. She had also bought along a pot she had made the day before for YAC members to look at and for them to have a better idea of what the pottery looked like and felt like.
For our own pots we used Das clay which is non toxic and drys at air temperature. To make our pots, we broke a small piece off the block and rolled it into a long sausage shape. We then curled the long sausage-shaped piece so it looked like a snail's shall. The next step was to smooth out the shell-shaped clay with our fingers until it was flat and round. This made the base of our Beaker pot.
To build up the sides of our pot, we repeated making long sausage-shaped pieces of clay, which we curled around the edge of the base whilst at the same time smoothing the outside of the clay with our fingers. We kept adding more sausages of clay until we had a Beaker-shaped pot.
Before the clay dried, we used pencils, small branches and sea shells to make patterns in the sides of the Beakers.
Top tips for making your own pot
The clay drys out quite quickly in a warm room, so it is a good idea to dip your fingers in water while smoothing the clay. This helps make the sides smoother and it also stops the clay drying out too quickly.
When rolling out the clay into sausage shapes, keep them quite thick as this makes for a sturdier pot and stops it collapsing in on itself.
If you'd like any more information about how to make Beaker pots, or would like to find out how to join the Aberystruth YAC, you can contact the team from Aberystruth YAC by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog by Ian Fewings, Aberystruth YAC Leader