Zen and Now Clay Studio 
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Boy Scout Merit Badge


1.     Explain to your counselor the precautions that must be followed for the safe use and operation of a potter’s tools, equipment, and other materials.

2.     Do the following:

·         Explain the properties and ingredients of a good clay body for the following:

·         Making sculpture

·         Throwing on the wheel

·         Tell how three different kinds of potter's wheels work.

3.     Make two drawings of pottery forms, each on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. One must be a historical pottery style. The other must be of your own design.

4.     Explain the meaning of the following pottery terms: bat, wedging, throwing, leather hard, bone dry, greenware, bisque, terra-cotta, grog, slip, score, earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, pyrometric cone, and glaze.

5.     Do the following. Each piece is to be painted, glazed, or otherwise decorated by you:

         a. Make a slab pot, a coil pot, and a pinch pot.

         b. Make a human or animal figurine or decorative sculpture.

         c. Throw a functional form on a potter's wheel.

         d. Help to fire a kiln.

6.     Explain the scope of the ceramic industry in the United States. Tell some things made other than craft pottery.

7.     With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:

        a. Visit the kiln yard at a local college or other craft school. Learn how the different kinds of kilns work, including low-fire electric, gas or propane high-fire, wood or salt/soda, and raku.

         b. Visit a museum, art exhibit, art gallery, artists' co-op, or artist's studio that features pottery. After your visit, share with your counselor what you have learned.

         c. Using resources from the library, magazines, the Internet (with your parent's permission), and other outlets, learn about the historical and cultural importance of pottery. Share what you discover with your counselor.

8.     Find out about career opportunities in pottery. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.


Zen and Now Clay Studio – Pottery Merit Badge Workshop


What we provide:


  1. Oral explanations and printed sheet handouts that cover requirement 1, 2, 4, 6,7a
  2. We will make a slab pot, a coil pot, a pinch pot, a sculpture and have a brief lesson on the wheel.  This will take approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  This will include decoration of the pieces with under glaze. 
  3. We will show the student our electric kilns and explain how the controller works and what cone 6 firing and bisque cone 04 firing mean. 
  4. Brief talk about the scope of the ceramic industry in the US and review things made other than craft pottery.  (6)
  5. With the workshop the student will qualify for 7a.  We will give a handout and brief description of the different types of kilns and how they work. 

Note: The pottery made by the scout will take 2-3 weeks to complete our firing process. Please call us to confirm they are done before coming to pick up.



This workshop will provide all the requirements needed for the badge and students will have fun meeting them.  The most difficult requirement is throwing a functional form on the potter’s wheel.  We will work closely with each student to provide the guidance needed to have a successful experience. 


4 Hour Workshop Sunday afternoon – 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

$49.00 per person (class size limited to 4-12 scouts at a time).

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