Old Sturbridge Village's Boy Scout Pottery Workshop is designed to meet most, though not all, of the requirements for the Boy Scout Pottery Merit Badge.
These full-day workshops run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a one-hour break, and are designed for ages 12 and up. Merit Badge Workshops accommodate a total of FOUR participants. The charge is $50 per Scout, with a $200 minimum to run the program. Please keep in mind, our Merit Badge Workshops are offered by OSV staff members who are approved as Scout Merit Badge Counselors. Download the application.
Below is an outline of requirements for the badge met by participation in our Pottery workshop, with "not applicable" notes next to those that are not met by this program.
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:
a. Explain the properties and ingredients of a good clay body for the following:
i. Making sculpture
ii. Throwing on the wheel
3. Make two drawings of pottery forms, each on an 8 ½ 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,
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.
* Piece will be pre-thrown by instructor and ready for glazing by student.
6. Not applicable to workshop
7. With your parent's permission and your counselor's approval, do ONE of the following:
a. Not applicable to workshop
b. Visit a museum, art exhibit, art gallery, artists' co-op, or artist's studio that features pottery. After
your visit share what you have learned.
c. Not applicable to workshop
8. Not applicable to workshop
BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGE POTTERY WORKSHOP VOCABULARY
BAT - A REMOVABLE DISK OF WOOD, PLASTER, OR OTHER MATERIAL WHICH IS FASTENED TO THE WHEEL BASE BUT CAN EASILY BE REMOVED. FOR REPITITION THROWING OR FOR LARGE PIECES.
BISQUE - UNGLAZED WARE
BONE DRY - THE FINAL STAGE OF DRTING CLAY WHEN ALL OF THE CHEMICALLY COMBINED WATER IS EVAPORATED.
EARTHENWARE - POTTERY WARE WITH POROUS BODY WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE COVERED WITH GLAZE.
GLAZE - A SPECIAL SORT OF GLASS, DIFFERING FROM WINDOW GLASS AND GLASSWARE IN ITS LOWER THERMAL EXPANSION AND HIGHER ALUMINUM CONTENT, WHICH INCREASES ITS VISCOSITY AND HELPS IT ADHERE TO THE CLAY BODY.
GLOG - GROUND, FIRED BISQUE INCORPORATED INTO CLAY BODIES TO GIVE TEXTURE, TO IMPART ‘BITE' WHILE THROWING, TO ASSIST DRYING, OR INCREASE FIRING STRENGTH.
GREENWARE - UNFIRED POTTERY.
LEATHER HARD - A STAGE IN THE DRYING OF CLAY WHEN IT BECOMES ALMOST RIGID BUT IS STILL DAMP.
PORCELAIN - A CLAY BODY MADE UP OF KAOLIN CLAY AND SILICA WITH A LITTLE FLUX, FIRED TO THE VITRIFICATION POINT.
PYROMETRIC CONE - HEAT INDICATORS IN THE FORM OF STICKS OR ELONGATED PYRAMIDS OF CERAMIC MATERIALS WHICH DEFORM AT A CERTAIN TEMPERATURE.
SCORE - THE INCISION OF LINE ON A POT FOR THE ATTACHMENT OF HANDLES, SPOUTS, OR OTHER ITEMS.
SLIP - ANY CLAY OR BODY MIXED WITH WATER TO A SMOOTH CREAMY CONSISTENCY.
STONEWARE - A GENERIC NAME FOR PLASTIC, REFRACTORY, SECONDARY CLAYS.
TERRA-COTTA - COOKED EARTH, MOST COMMONLY INDICATES UNGLAZED RED CLAY MODELLING OR ARCHITECTURAL CERAMIC
THROWING - THE HAND FORMING OF HOLLOW SHAPES ON A REVOLVING WHEEL HEAD.
WEDGING - THE PROCESS OF HAND MIXING OF CLAYS AND WORKING THEM INTO A CONSISTENT BUBBLE FREE MASS.