‘Neolithic’ Thumb Pots

Thumb pots are one of my favourite pottery forms. They are literally ‘pinched’ with thumb and forefinger from a single lump clay! The idea that it’s apparently possible just with thumb, for-finger and lump of clay to make a useful and/or decorative item with such an apparently simple technique is quite wonderful. But here lies the rub and why I love them so much; the apparent simplicity of their construction has often resulted in a slightly dismissive attitude toward them by archaeologists.

In truth; to make a good thumb pot the ball of clay must be knowledgeably prepared and be nicely ‘plastic’ without being ‘floppy’! The pot must have a correct ‘point of balance’ or it is functionally useless. There must be no air bubbles introduced during the making or it will blow up! Finally, the maker has to be able to control the clay so that the wall thickness is even.

My thumb pots are intended to make people think twice about these little pots and admire why and how they were made in prehistory! All my thumb pots are stamped with my unique potters mark and come with a bespoke leaflet repeating the description you see beside their photos.