Lumps of clay about to become pinchpots, which will eventually (hopefully!) become a Venus figure. The little stoneware Buddha/Budai figure was made as a pinchpot.

I’m in Day 2 of my 365 day challenge and have no time to go into the studio. “Argh, what to do?”

Well, luckily for me, I found a bag of V9A stoneware clay in my back yard. (This is the hidden advantage of being just a bit disorganized. Actually, that sounds like the title of a self help book that I should absolutely write…but anyway, on with the pottery.)

So, with no other equipment, it’s pinchpot time. I once made a rather cute Budai (a chubby Chinese monk) figure on a pinchpot, so I’m aiming for something reasonably complicated. I had a little think, and remembered the Venus figures, for example the Venus of Willendorf, a little Palaeolithic statuette of an amply endowed woman. I’m going to make my own version…but time marches on and I’m going to have to finish both it, and this post, tonight, after work.

Edited on the 3rd Jan:

I was so tired after yesterday’s shift that I went home afterwards and crawled under the duvet, but I think that fact that I started the pinchpots before I went out means that it still counts, and since this is my challenge, and I make the rules, well, it’s fine. It’s still yesterday’s pot.

For those who don’t know what the Venus of Willendorf looks like, here’s a link I found on Pinterest:

Image result

image from Wikipedia.

Her hands rest on her breasts and the pose sort of reminds me of the comedian Les Dawson in drag (image from Daily Mail):

I think she has a certain charm.

Anyway, today I made two pinchpots with the clay and joined them together, then gave them a squeeze to create a head and breasts.

Then when I had got my basic shape, I added extra clay for bosoms, and thin rolls for arms.

Venus now has arms and bosoms!

Then I gradually tweaked the shape, with a mounted needle as a carving tool, because that was what was handy. I haven’t given her legs as then she’d be harder to stand up. Basically, I’ve made her lazy.

The Venus of Gleadless – almost finished.

Then I added the braids detail on her head. I don’t think that the original has eyes, but I couldn’t resist the addition of two little holes beneath what I’m suddenly seeing as Ena Sharples hairnet. In effect, I feel like I’ve created a plump Palaeolithic Ena Sharples who has unexpectedly gone topless. (For any youngsters – she was on Coronation Street a long, long time ago.)

Ena on Coronation Street
Image from

Oh dear. She doesn’t look amused. Get the stout in!

And my little goddess figure has a butt worthy of Kim Kardashian!

Palaeolithic Kim Kardashian!

So, basically, she’s finished. I’ll let her dry a bit more, fettle a little more at the leather hard stage, and then fire her to stoneware with some oxides to bring out the detail. The original carved Venus of Willendorf was tinted with red ochre, so some red iron oxide seems appropriate.

That was fun, on to the next pot!