The Indian Pot

: Things To See In Springtime

This is something everyone can make, no matter how young, and each, including the Guide, should make one.

Get a lump of good stiff clay; yellow is better than blue, only because it is a better colour when finished.

Work the clay up with water till soft, pick out all stones, lumps, and straws. Then roll it out like a pancake; use a knife to cut this into laces a foot long and about as thick as a pencil.

Dip your fingers in water,

take one of these laces and coil it round and round as in "a," soldering it together with water rubbed on and into the joints. Keep on adding, shaping and rubbing, till you have a saucer about three inches across and a quarter of an inch thick. Put this away in some shady place to set, or harden a little; otherwise it would fall down of its own weight.

After about an hour, wet the rim, and build up on that round and round with laces as before, until you have turned the saucer into a cup, about four inches across, and, maybe three inches high. Set this away to stiffen. Then finish the shape, by adding more coils, and drawing it in a little. When this has stiffened, make a "slip" or cream of clay and water, rub this all over the pot inside and out; use your fingers and a knife to make it smooth and even. When this is done, use a sharp point, and draw on the pot any of the Indian designs show in the sketches, using lines and dots for the shading.

The Indian Pot The Indian Pot

Now set the pot in some shady place to dry. High above the stove in the kitchen is a good place, so long as it is not too near the stove-pipe. After one day bring it nearer the heat. Then about the second day, put it in the oven. Last of all, and this is the hardest part to do, let the Guide put the bone-dry pot right into the fire, deep down into the red coals at night, and leave it there till next day. In the morning when the fire is dead, the pot should be carefully lifted out, and, if all is well, it will be of hard ringing red terra cotta.

The final firing is always the hardest thing to do, because the pots are so easily cracked. If they be drawn out of the fire while they are yet hot, the sudden touch of cold air usually breaks them into pieces.

Now remember, O Guide! A pot is made of the earth, and holds the things that come out of the earth to make life, that feed us and keep us. So on it, you should draw the symbols that stand for these things. At the foot of preceding page you see some of them.